A bell ringing ceremony was held at Colombo Stock Exchange yesterday to raise awareness about International Trade Centre’s (ITC) ‘SheTrades’ initiative, which seeks to connect one million women entrepreneurs to markets by 2020.
The event was held in parallel with the World Export Development Forum (WEDF), organised by ITC in collaboration with Sri Lanka Export Development Board.
Through the ‘SheTrades’ initiative, women entrepreneurs will have the ability to share information about their companies, to make them visible, expand networks, connect and internationalise.
Speaking at the event, ITC Executive Director Arancha González said that women empowerment is an absolute must to achieving inclusive economic growth and development.
International Trade State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe, Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce Chairperson Rifa Mustapha, ITC Executive Director Arancha González, Export Development Board Chairperson and CEO Indira Malwatte, Colombo Stock Exchange Chairman Vajira Kulathilake and Hettigoda Group Director Vidyani Hettigoda at the CSE bell ringing ceremony. Picture by Wasitha Patabendige
“SheTrades’ is all about empowering women economically.We always care about women in parliament. We must now turn our attention to the economy, because it is the economy that will change and anchor the education, healthcare, politics”.
Speaking on ITC’s involvement in relation to the women empowerment in Sri Lanka González said, ITC in collaboration with the Sri Lanka Exports Development Board and Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka have initiated a programme to connect women in Sri Lanka ,Kenya and Indonesia to international markets.
‘SheTrades’ is also a web and mobile app that helps women in business connect with buyers, share experiences and conclude business deals. The initiative’s Call to Action spells out seven global actions in which governments, the private sector, and civil society groups can make concrete pledges to remedy obstacles holding back women-owned businesses.