As women are both drivers and beneficiaries of inclusive economic growth, the APEC Women and the Economy 2015 Forum lay down a framework toward realizing the full potential of women as economic actors in the global economy
In a statement adopted at the High Level Policy Dialogue on Women, the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) acknowledged the role of women in economic development. Delegates have met this week in Manila, The Philippines.
Click here to view the APEC Women and the Economy Statement
"Our agenda is driven by the fact that women are prime movers of inclusive growth, and with this, we want to create an enabling environment for women's economic empowerment especially those in micro, small and medium enterprises," said Emmeline L. Verzosa, Executive Director of the Philippine Commission on Women and Chair of the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy. "We want business to be inclusive and women entrepreneurs to be linked up to the international markets and global value chains."
Earlier this week, the group adopted a three year strategic plan that sets a vision for strong, sustainable, and balanced economic growth in the APEC region. This is currently being done through initiatives that mainstream, elevate and integrate gender responsive policies and programs into APEC activities.
Specifically, member economies will seek to strengthen the integration of gender responsive policies and programs across APEC fora and advance women’s economic participation through five priority pillars. These include: access to capital and assets; 2) access to markets; 3) skills, capacity building, and health; 4) leadership, voice and agency; and 5) innovation and technology.
"Mainstreaming gender equality and women's empowerment into the agenda is at the heart of this year's inclusiveness theme," said Ms Verzosa. "This is the perfect time to take note of the successes we've had so far, as well as take stock of what still needs to be done so that we can fully realize economic development felt by more sectors of our societies."
The group also recognized the APEC Women and the Economy Dashboard, a tool that provides a picture of the status of women's participation in the regional economy through an indicator system, which was agreed upon by the 21 member economies.
Members said in the statement for APEC economies to “leverage the dashboard as a tool to inform policymaking and capacity building across all APEC work streams, and to improve and expand data collection.”
Current APEC initiatives enhance women entrepreneurs’ access to opportunities, including to technologies that facilitate fast and more efficient ways of starting up or conducting a business. Through its “50 Leading Companies for Women in APEC Project,” the APEC women empowerment agenda showcased the efforts of about 50 companies in the APEC region that empowered women in their workplaces.
Another project supports leadership potential of women in all career levels. The “APEC Individual Action Plan (IAP) for the Enhancement of the Ratio of Women’s Representation in Leadership Project” was launched to promote women's participation in the economy at all levels, particularly on leadership, decision-making and management.
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Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III’s discusses the importance of empowering women to advance inclusive growth across the Asia-Pacific here.
Findings from a new dashboard measuring the progress of women’s participation in APEC member economies are detailed here.
A newly launched Healthy Women, Healthy Economy toolkit proposing health-related policies and actions to address barriers for women to enter, remain and rise in the workforce is spotlighted here.
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