Source: United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD)
A national workshop in Cape Verde concluded that the impact of macro-economic policies is not "gender neutral," and that women in Cape Verde should be granted more opportunities to contribute to the development and economic growth of their country.

The links between trade liberalization and women's well-being were discussed last week in Cape Verde's capital, Praia, at the launching of the UNCTAD study: "Who is benefiting from trade liberalization in Cape Verde? A gender perspective"

Opened by the Minister for Rural Development, H.E. Eva Ortet, the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Petra Lantz, and by the Chief of UNCTAD's Technical Cooperation Service, Ms. Manuela Tortora, the one-day workshop offered the opportunity to  discuss the main findings of UNCTAD's publication.

Diaspora and remittances, food prices and food security, tourism, and the ongoing negotiations between Cape Verde and the  European Union on an Economic Partnership Agreement, were the main issues discussed at the workshop attended by 50 participants from the government, the private sector, academia and the UN system. These issues were identified in light of their critical significance to Cape Verde and Cape Verdean women.

It was noted that despite the remarkable level of education attained, women in Cape Verde suffer from unemployment, work  segregation, and low salaries. The country has put in place a poverty alleviation strategy that has yielded overall positive results, reducing poverty by 10 percentage points from 2002 to 2007. However, these remarkable achievements have benefitted male-headed and urban households and have not been equally beneficial to women, especially in rural areas.

Ms. Lantz noted that the impact of macro-economic policies, including trade policy, is different for different segments of the population. Considering such policies as  "gender-neutral" is not the right approach, she added.

The workshop discussed a number of policy recommendations presented in the study that could inform the new poverty alleviation and trade strategies being developed by the government.

The national workshop was followed by a one-day training workshop on the quantitative methodology used in the study addressed  to around twenty officers from the National Institute of Statistics, the Department of Industry and Trade and the National Institute for Gender Equality and Equity.

The country-case study of Cape Verde is part of a series of country studies that are being conducted by UNCTAD within its work  programme on Trade, Gender and Development.

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