Economic development and gender officials from APEC members have introduced new individual action plans for advancing women’s representation in leadership within their economies over the next five years. Their intent is to replicate the success of the APEC region’s comparable approach to market integration initiated two decades ago that established it as the world’s preeminent driver of trade and economic growth.


Under the scheme, APEC member economies are developing their own set of measurable and aspirational voluntary goals towards enhancing the role of women in leadership, decision-making and management across the public and private sectors, while taking into account the individual economic and social circumstances of each economy. APEC members will endeavor to meet their respective goals by the end of 2020. Currently, two-thirds of APEC’s 21 members have already submitted an individual action plan as part of the scheme. 


APEC members are advancing women’s economic empowerment through the introduction of new individual action plans that support the boosting of women’s representation in leadership within the region’s economies critical to realizing more inclusive, sustainable growth among them, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.


The new individual action plan scheme, set in motion by officials and business representatives at the APEC Women and the Economy Forum last year, prompts each APEC member to formulate targets and a plan for realizing them based on their own definitions and indicators. The progress of their implementation work will be reported to APEC Leaders and Ministers in 2017 and again in 2021, with APEC Women and the Economy fora to lend parallel support for the adoption of gender balancing policies.


“Increased participation of women in economic activities will serve as a catalyst to growth and is what APEC members are determined to take forward through this individual action plan scheme,” explained Nora Terrado, Philippine Undersecretary of Trade and Industry and Chair of this year’s APEC Women and the Economy fora. This includes the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy which administers the individual action plan scheme and related APEC member initiatives, in collaboration with the private sector.


“Individual economic and social circumstances of an economy must be taken into account for gender policies to have the desired impact across such a hugely diverse region,” added Emmeline Verzosa, Executive Director of the Philippine Commission on Women and co-Chair of the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy. “The paths APEC members take towards greater gender equality may vary, but ultimately we are all striving for the same thing and can learn a great deal from each other’s policy lessons and experiences moving forward.”


Economic Development and Gender Ministers and senior representatives from the private sector met at the APEC High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy in Manila to determine the next step. Women’s entrepreneurship and their participation in innovation and technology were among the other initiatives that were discussed.


Click here to view APEC members’ Individual Action Plans for advancing

women’s economic participation


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For more:


The 50 leading companies for women in the Asia-Pacific are described here.


Learn how women are leading the way in disaster risk reduction in the vulnerable Asia-Pacific at this link and what good practices APEC members are advancing to support this effort here.


A newly launched APEC toolkit proposing health-related policies and actions to address barriers for women to enter, remain and rise in the workforce is spotlighted here.


Findings from a new dashboard measuring the progress of women’s participation in APEC member economies are detailed here.


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