The GFPN has recognized the need for closer collaboration with all appropriate APEC fora in order to ensure that gender considerations are central to processes such as reform, policy, and project development and reporting. To this end, the group has issued recommendations to the Sub-Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) to be put before Senior Officials. Notably among these are:

  • The provision of support at the Economy and APEC level for trade capacity building assistance for women across the APEC region, particularly in developing economies, to assist women to have access to markets and benefit from free trade and globalization; and
  • The inclusion of the gender implications of trade as a key policy issue to be considered by APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers.

Negative impacts on women lead to negative impacts on the economy. Research has shown that gender discrimination and the marginalization of women costs APEC economies an approximate US$ 80 billion, each year.

At the 6th Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN) meeting, representatives of APEC's very distinct and diverse economies shared best practices in advancing the status of women in trade and - by extension - their respective economies, on the whole.

Among recent notable achievements are:

  • New legislation to protect women's human rights in areas of trafficking and domestic violence. This is possibly an outcome of the presentation of findings by Australia to Finance Ministers at the Seminar on Fiscal Space (Brunei, December 2007), which explored the actual cost of domestic violence.
  • Gender sensitivity training of officials in sectors requiring interaction with vulnerable women in the United States; and
    The Indonesian Project, "Women in Times of Disaster", examining best practices in disaster prevention, response and rehabilitation.
  • Canadian research findings suggested the need for engendering trade negotiation mandates and strengthening APEC's capacity to address the gender dimensions of trade.

In response to these findings, Canada will lead a collaborative effort with the Philippines, Peru and the United States, to develop a trade database to be posted on the APEC/GFPN website. This is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008.