Oliver Bugarin 13 0 0 6 min to read

Women’s economic empowerment will accelerate a long-term recovery.

Ministers for gender, economic, and social development, as well as high-ranking officials from member nations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are urging for faster advancement in women’s and girls’ economic empowerment and underlining how crucial it is for long-term recovery.

APEC members reaffirmed their commitment to pursuing policies and initiatives that promote inclusive, equitable, and sustainable recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and which contribute significantly to the advancement of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment at the APEC Women and the Economy Forum held in Bangkok on Wednesday, according to a statement received here on Wednesday.

Chuti Krairiksh, Thailand’s minister of social development and human security, said, “We emphasize the importance of embedding the empowerment and advancement of women and gender equality in the Asia-Pacific region in line with APEC’s vision, road map, implementation plan, and other relevant instruments agreed upon within the forum.”

Participants at the conference discussed how the forum could give women greater possibilities and how they may contribute to sustainability, primarily through the bio-circular-green (BCG) economy model, with Thailand’s APEC sustainability priority taking center stage.

“Every obstacle ought to be and can be turned into an opportunity. Our different budgets, action plans, and policies must include gender perspectives, “declared Minister Chuti.

Importantly, he continued, “all these policies, plans, and budgets must be approved and implemented to address the needs of women and girls from a variety of backgrounds and (ensure) that they will have equitable access to capital and markets, labor force participation, leadership positions, education, and training in digital skills in a changing world.

Minister Chuti also reaffirmed the necessity for member countries to provide “an enabling environment that fosters inclusive development and the empowerment of all women” and the importance of fostering networks and collaboration.

Speaking during the summit, former Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva emphasized how, despite being the backbone of many Asian countries, women are still underrepresented in important political positions.

In light of member economies’ efforts to incorporate women’s empowerment and new economic prospects, he also emphasized the significance of sex-disaggregated statistics.

In terms of enacting measures that would benefit families, he added, “We need to do much more.” “The largest hurdle to success for women continues to be how to advance their careers while juggling what they perceive to be family responsibilities.

According to Vejjajiva, measures that address child benefits paid or unpaid leave and encourage men to take on their fair share of obligations in domestic and unpaid labor should be given priority.

“Given that women make up nearly half of the population, there is no justification for this inequality or this aspect of unfairness to persist, “added he.

He went on to say that the world, the Asia-Pacific region, and women all deserved more.

APEC is required by leaders, through the Aotearoa Plan of Action, to ensure growth that is high quality and inclusive, brings palpable benefits and greater health and well-being to owners and employees of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as well as to women and other groups with untapped economic potential, according to Rebecca Sta. Maria, executive director of the APEC Secretariat.

“At the individual economy level, we need to embrace and enhance regulatory methods, solid public sector governance and take other steps that support economic inclusion and well-being,” Sta. Maria added.

“At the collective level, we will advance inclusive policies, gender equality, and the economic empowerment of women while expanding on APEC’s work on supporting women’s economic empowerment,” she continued. “This will assist APEC’s agenda on advancing economic, financial, and social inclusion.

In order to guarantee that all plans and programs are executed strategically across multiple sectors and levels, Sta. Maria emphasized the necessity for robust and trustworthy monitoring procedures.

At the meeting, ministers and senior officials discussed methods to protect women’s wellbeing while fostering a more resilient future and strategies and policies to boost women’s economic empowerment, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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