The importance of building capacity of various gender based organisations follows from observations that, these groups are often not included in trade policy formulation in Zambia. Through CUTS ARC Lusaka’s interaction with these organisations in Zambia, it was evident that they had little or no capacity in articulating and debating issues relating to trade agreements such as EPAs and WTO and also taking advantage of initiatives such as the EIF. The vast knowledge gap indicated the significance of hosting such a workshop.

If not well negotiated, trade could bring about negative results on gender equality. Trade plays an important role in the economic development both at national and domestic level. Empirical data has so far shown differential impact of trade policies on women and men as trade policy making processes have little or no gender analysis in Zambia. It is worth noting that, women play a significant role in economic development although they were mostly employed in the informal sector, they play only a marginal role in trade process which was reserved to the informal sector. In this regard it becomes extremely important that they are exposed to trade policy process and other initiatives such as the EIF which could contribute to their empowerment and integrate them into the world trading economy.

Therefore, the significance of mainstreaming gender analysis in the EIF was found to be necessary so that both men and women benefited from the EIF funds. Therefore, in order to highlight unfair trade and to further engage women to air their concerns so that they also benefit from globalisation era through trade. The workshop was well organised and it aimed to:

provide gender mainstreaming and analysis into the ongoing EIF process;

build capacity of women organisations on sender and trade in Zambia;

assess the policy coherence of the trade policies and the gender policy agreements at the national, regional level and international level; and

strengthen capacity of CSOs and trade negotiators to effectively engage gender in trade policy formulation in Zambia.