Recent narratives have revealed that women are underrepresented in international trade, with only one in five women involved in exporting due to several systemic barriers. Furthermore, efforts to encourage female business owners to export and to support them in expanding globally often focus on policy making bodies. As a result, OWIT Nigeria is comprised with experienced women professionals in the field of trade advocacy, with a focus on facilitating trade initiatives with identified stakeholders. Our national and multi-lateral advocacy initiatives are targeted at mainstreaming gender and addressing the multiple barriers that limit or prevent greater opportunities and competitiveness for Nigerian women to successfully own and/or manage, and expand small and medium enterprises targeted for export trade.

By means of a bottom-up holistic strategy, we acknowledge that most of the third-level value chain actors are in the category of small to medium enterprises, who are of the informal type and largely concentrated at rural levels; noting this, our advocacy approach brings their interest into national agenda. In the same vein, we robustly engage with community gatekeepers who are positioned to understand and meaningfully engage with the policy process in order to ensure that their concerns and interests are adequately captured by the adopted trade reforms.

Generally, our advocacy actions are compatibly tailored towards influencing trade policies which play an important role in women’s economic empowerment and engagement in international trade. We lead trade advocacy campaigns on gender sensitive concerns to bring about beneficial trading narratives to Nigeria’s economy, or at least minimizes adverse impacts from recurring economic downturns.