Women on Reconnek are elated at one of theirs becoming Director General of the WTO.

Darlene Kalila
2 min readNov 6, 2020

For the first time in its 25-year history, the World Trade Organization will be led by a woman. The field of candidates vying to become the next director-general of the WTO later this year has been reduced to Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee, the Geneva-based body said in a statement. One of them will replace Roberto Azevedo, who stepped down a year earlier than planned in August after the WTO was caught in the middle of an escalating trade fight between the United States and China. The WTO was established in 1995 with the aim of promoting open trade for the benefit of all. It negotiates and administers rules for international trade and tries to resolve disputes among its 164 members.

Okonjo-Iweala is an economist and former finance minister of Nigeria. She spent 25 years at the World Bank, rising to become the organization’s managing director of operations. In 2018, she was named to the board of Twitter (TWTR). She also chairs the board of Gavi, an international organization that aims to bring together the public and private sectors to improve access to vaccines. Okonjo-Iweala will face off against Yoo, who is the first woman to serve as South Korea’s trade minister. “Deeply grateful and honored to be selected for the final round in the selection process of the next @WTO Director General!” Yoo said on Twitter after the final candidates were announced.

Female Reconnek users are especially excited at the idea of one of theirs heading such an international organization as the WTO. The task ahead is quite challenging but who is better than a woman to complete it, seeing as her whole existence is a challenge. The next director general of the WTO will assume control of an organization that has struggled to prevent trade spats among member states, most notably the United States and China. She will also be forced to grapple with fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, which slammed trade and triggered a deep global recession. What the WTO needs at this moment is a leader and women on Reconnek are proudly behind the two candidates, campaigning for their wins. Whoever gets the victory, what’s important is the example it sets for women on Reconnek: that they can do anything.

--

--

Darlene Kalila

Get tips on how to live better in another country, Help for all immigrants.