CSW67 side event – Gender gaps in trade and development: Does digitalization hold solutions?

March 7
3:00 pm
 – 4:15 pm
New York

In the framework of the 67th Commission of the Status of Women (CSW67), UNCTAD in partnership with Chile, will organize the side event “Gender gaps in trade and development: Does digitalization hold solutions?”.

Creating a supporting environment for digitalization and digital trade is an important component of policymaking. The shift to digitalization holds the potential to improve productivity, sustainability, and resilience in many economic sectors, with expected benefits for all countries but particularly for developing countries.

For small-scale women entrepreneurs, digitalization and e-commerce can represent an important opportunity for economic progress and empowerment. However, digital gender divides persist. Lack of digital literacy, inadequate understanding of the benefits of Internet usage, lack of access to appropriate devices, lack of relevant content in accessible languages on the Internet, as well as high costs are the main reasons for limited adoption of new technologies by women. Gender digital gaps risk reinforcing and accentuating the pre-existing gender gaps in society and in the economy.

The side event will discuss opportunities, bottlenecks and key strategic interventions at the international and domestic levels that would enable women to benefit further from the digital revolution and to enhance their participation in trade. It will also look at data needs in support of sound policymaking in this direction.

Issues that will be discussed include:

  • The policies that can be put in place – or have already been put in place – to help women entrepreneurs to further benefit from the digital revolution and to explore the opportunities offered by e-commerce;
  • Whether digital technologies have facilitated the entry of women into higher value-added sectors;
  • Whether digital platforms can be used to support small businesses and local products;
  • The role of public-private partnerships;
  • Success stories and the lessons learned;
  • Effective methods to strengthen synergies between institutions working on trade, statistics, gender equality and on digitalization, in line with the SDGs commitment to close digital divides and gender gaps.


Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, CEO / Founder, Women at the Table


  • Alejandro Buvinic, Head of Services, Investment and Digital Economy Division, Undersecretariat of International Economic Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile
  • Simonetta Zarrilli, Chief, Trade, Gender and Development Programme, UNCTAD
  • Fernanda Contreras Stange, Head of Studio of Gamaga by Kongregate, Chile

Undersecretariat of International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chile