WTO Declaration on Women’s Economic Empowerment Within Trade




On Thursday, April 21st, WITA held a webinar discussing what successful implementation of the WTO Declaration on the Advancement of Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment Within Trade might look like, and recent initiatives to advance the interests of women in international trade.

In December, 2021 the United States announced its intention to join Joint Declaration on the Advancement of Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment Within Trade. First agreed to in 2017 by 118 WTO members in Buenos Aires, the Declaration seeks to remove barriers to, and foster, women’s economic empowerment.

Featured Speakers:

Anoush der Boghossian, Head of Trade and Gender, Gender Policy Advisor, Chair and Founder of the WTO Gender Research Hub, World Trade Organization (WTO)

Desirée LeClercq, Assistant Professor, International and Comparative Labor Law, Cornell ILR School, Associate Member of the Law Faculty, Cornell Law School

Latesha Love, Director, International Affairs and Trade, US Government Accountability Office

Moderator: Maria Luisa Boyce, Vice President, UPS Global Public Affairs


Anoush der Boghossian

Ms. Anoush der Boghossian is the Head of the WTO Trade and Gender Unit and the WTO Gender Policy Adviser. She was appointed as the WTO’s first trade and gender expert by former Director-General Roberto Azevêdo in 2017. She is the WTO expert on trade and gender equality and on gender equality issues more broadly. 

She is one of the Co-Authors of the WTO/World Bank report on “Women and Trade” and has published articles and working papers on trade and gender. 

She is the Founder and Chair of the WTO Gender Research Hub, a research network that fosters research and experts’ partnerships on gender equality in trade. Through the Hub, she also intends to promote research findings on trade and gender equality thus supporting governments in adopting informed policies and to establish the topic of as a recognised field of research and expertise. 

She is a recognised trainer and researcher on gender responsive trade policy, and for instance she organised a session at the Seventh Biennial Global Conference of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL) in 2021 and presented research on “Mainstreaming Gender in Trade and Investment Agreements: Best Practice Examples & the Missing Elements”. 

Anoush is a senior staff member of the WTO with 16 years’ experience in the Organization. Prior her current responsibilities, Anoush worked as the French Language Spokesperson of the WTO, as the press officer to the former Director-General Pascal Lamy and to the former Deputy Director-General Valentine Rugwabiza, focusing on media operations in Africa. She also served as the NGO Liaison Officer of the WTO. Within these positions, she started to develop her knowledge on the links between trade gender and development, especially doing a lot of work with African media. 

Anoush began her career at the WTO in 2006 after acquiring 10 years of professional experience in the private sector, in Brussels, working on EU policies, as a public relations specialist. 

Among her educational achievements, she holds a Masters in European and International Law, and a Masters in Communications. 

Among her personal achievements, Anoush is a Member of the “Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin”, Chateau Clos de Vougeot (Burgundy, France) and she is an experienced diver. 

Maria Luisa Boyce

Maria Luisa Boyce is the Vice President for International Policy for UPS Global Public Affairs. She brings over 20 years of experience and leadership in international trade, customs issues and cross-border trade. In her current role, she advocates for UPS’s priorities on Capitol Hill, supports the company’s government affairs efforts in Latin America, is part of the UPS core team leading our UPS Women Exporter Program and serves as a liaison for UPS to National Hispanic Organizations. Prior to joining UPS, Mrs. Boyce served as U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Senior Advisor to the Commissioner for Trade and Private Sector Engagement and Director for the Office of Trade Relations. Mrs. Boyce assumed this role after serving as the Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Public Affairs. Mrs. Boyce was also the Small Business Ombudsman and Regulatory Fairness Representative for CBP, serving as a liaison between the international trading community and senior CBP managers. She is originally from Bogota, Colombia and grew up living in five different countries in Latin America before moving to the United States.

Desirée LeClercq

Desirée LeClercq is the Proskauer Employment and Labor Law Assistant Professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Ithaca, New York. She teaches international labor law, U.S. labor law and employment law. She is the author or co-author of several articles (along with book chapter contributions) exploring incoherence between international labor law and U.S. trade law and constitutional law. She is currently working with Raymond Robertson (Texas A&M) and the ILO on a collaborative project empirically examining labor provisions in trade agreements to test accusations of protectionism. Her other current projects examine gender rights in trade, map out COVID-19 recovery activities across the U.N. system, and set out the implications of USMCA on U.S. jurisprudence.

Before joining the ILR School, LeClercq was the Director for Labor Affairs at USTR, where she negotiated and enforced labor-rights commitments in U.S. trade instruments. In that capacity, she frequently traveled to SE Asia, and was involved in several U.S. inter-agency task forces on forced labor, gender rights, and capacity building. Prior to joining USTR in 2016, LeClercq was a legal officer for the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland, where she specialized in maritime labor law and trade agreements. She began her legal career as a staff attorney to the Chairman of the NLRB in 2006.

LeClercq is a 2006 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, a 2002 graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, and a member of the New York bar. She lives in Ithaca with her husband and rambunctious toddler.

Latesha Love

Latesha Love is a Director in GAO’s International Affairs and Trade (IAT) team. She oversees a cross-cutting portfolio examining international policy issues such as women’s rights and trade, foreign assistance for reconstruction and enhancing democracy, efforts to combat international human trafficking, and international cybersecurity.

Latesha joined GAO in August 2002. Prior to IAT, she spent several years in GAO’s Strategic Issues and Forensic Audits and Investigative Services teams leading audits on issues such as consumer financial protection, Medicare, contracting, immigration, human capital management, and intergovernmental response and recovery from catastrophic events. She has also served as a speaker at various national and international conferences on using data analytics and other leading practices to manage federal fraud risks.

Latesha earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan, where she was also a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow. Latesha earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia State University.