Women’s History Month: Engaging Women Worldwide Through commerce


Women’s History Month is celebrated annually in March to honour the contributions and achievements of women throughout history. This year, the topic for Women’s History Month is “Engaging Women Worldwide Through Trade,” highlighting the importance of women’s participation in the global economy and the benefits that trade can bring to women in all parts of the world.

Historically, women have faced significant challenges in accessing economic opportunities and participating fully in the workforce. These challenges have been particularly acute in many developing countries, where cultural and societal norms have often limited women’s ability to work outside the home, own property, or access credit and other financial resources.
However, in new years, there has been growing recognition of the critical role that women can play in driving economic growth and promoting social and environmental sustainability. Women entrepreneurs and business owners are now recognized as essential drivers of innovation and job creation, and governments and international organizations are increasingly taking steps to promote women’s economic empowerment.

Trade is one of the most potent ways to support women’s economic empowerment.

By providing access to global markets, work can help women-owned businesses to expand their customer base and increase their revenue, creating new jobs and opportunities for women workers.
However, many barriers still prevent women from fully participating in global trade. These include practical barriers, such as limited access to finance and technology, and more systemic barriers, such as gender-based discrimination and unequal legal frameworks.
To address these challenges, several initiatives have been launched in recent years to support women’s participation in global trade. These include programs to provide training and mentoring to women entrepreneurs, enterprises to promote women’s access to finance and technology, and efforts to improve the legal and regulatory environment for women-owned businesses.

One example of a successful initiative to support women’s participation in global trade

The African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC) is a program launched by the Center for Global Enterprise in 2018. AWEC provides training and mentoring to women entrepreneurs in Africa, focusing on helping women build businesses that can compete in the global marketplace.
Through its comprehensive training program, AWEC provides women entrepreneurs the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the global economy. This includes finance, marketing, and strategic planning training and mentorship from experienced business leaders.
Since its launch, AWEC has helped over 600 women entrepreneurs in Africa build successful businesses and expand their reach in the global marketplace. These women have created thousands of jobs and contributed to their communities economic growth and social development.

Another critical initiative to support women’s participation in global trade

The SheTrades initiative is launched by the International Trade Center in 2015. SheTrades provides a platform for women entrepreneurs to connect with buyers, investors, and other partners, helping to increase their visibility and expand their reach in global markets.
Through its network of partners and supporters, SheTrades provides women entrepreneurs access to training, mentoring, and other resources, helping them overcome the barriers that often prevent women from fully participating in global trade.
In the years since its launch, SheTrades has helped thousands of women entrepreneurs build successful businesses and connect with partners worldwide. By empowering women to participate fully in the global economy, SheTrades is contributing to economic growth and social development in communities across the globe.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month this year

It is essential to accept the critical role that women can play in driving economic growth and promoting sustainable development. By supporting women’s participation in global trade, we can help unlock the potential of millions of women entrepreneurs and workers worldwide, creating new opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and social development.
As we extend the end of Women’s History Month 2023, I thought this would be an excellent time to reflect on my career journey and respect the women who have motivated and elevated me over the past 30 years at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). I have been so favoured to work with exceptional women leaders and traders worldwide – particularly in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), where I currently serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary.

I am a native Washingtonian who attended school with children from other kingship and cultures who spoke different languages. This early control sparked my interest and curiosity in international connection and diplomacy. I address Brown University and the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, where I contract my regard to international trade – understanding that prosperity and peace go hand in hand. In 1993, I began my position in executive with the worldwide Trade Administration (ITA) in Washington, DC, as a Presidential Management Fellow. I was an allure to Commerce and ITA because I understood that the profession is where the rubber meets the road. In 1998, I became an ascribed envoy with the U.S. and Foreign trading Service, and to this day, I am immobile as a Foreign Service Officer.

I have been privileged to represent the United States Government in many countries worldwide. In every post, I’ve had the chance to support and supporter for U.S. companies as they dilate their businesses into foreign markets.
It has been my distinct charm and honour to obey as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Middle East and Africa above the last two and half years. I love my job! I lead a team that bears U.S. corporations in their efforts to enter, operate, and inflate these markets. This support extends from engaging foreign governments to positioning various products and services available to companies as they consider their market entry and expansion strategies.

About the author

Olivia Wilson

Add Comment

Get in touch

Content and images available on this website is supplied by contributors. As such we do not hold or accept liability for the content, views or references used. For any complaints please contact adelinedarrow@gmail.com. Use of this website signifies your agreement to our terms of use. We do our best to ensure that all information on the Website is accurate. If you find any inaccurate information on the Website please us know by sending an email to adelinedarrow@gmail.com and we will correct it, where we agree, as soon as practicable. We do not accept liability for any user-generated or user submitted content – if there are any copyright violations please notify us at adelinedarrow@gmail.com – any media used will be removed providing proof of content ownership can be provided. For any DMCA requests under the digital millennium copyright act
Please contact: adelinedarrow@gmail.com with the subject DMCA Request.