Gender equality is critical to ending extreme poverty. Research has shown that the expansion of international trade is essential for poverty reduction, and provides opportunities particularly for women working in export-oriented sectors.
Trade facilitation plays an important role in a country’s economic development as it enhances competitiveness by reducing transaction costs to import and export.
The World Bank Group’s Trade Facilitation Support Program (TFSP) is a flagship technical assistance program administered by the World Bank Group. It supports countries in aligning their trade practices with the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. The TFSP has been working to identify and fill some of the data gaps that exist around barriers that women traders face in undertaking cross-border trade and initiated a questionnaire development and piloting of the questionnaire in Africa in 2017. As a follow on activity, the TFSP awarded IC Net Limited to roll-out the survey across TFSP countries, specifically in East Asia and the Pacific.
The survey will focus on formal enterprises engaged in cross border trade that are owned, managed, and operated by women in East Asia and the Pacific, specifically, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu.
The scope of the assignment includes: (1) Preparation of Country Briefs introducing existing data on women and trade; (2) Determination of the universe of women owned, managed and operated firms in the formal sector in program countries; (3) Focus Group Discussions in Fiji and Vietnam with a cross section of women traders and men traders as a control group; (4) Roll out of survey in nine target countries; (5) Collation of data and analyze results; and (6) Preparation of data for dissemination.