APEC’s Sustainable Recovery Strategy with Women’s Empowerment
Women’s empowerment remains a key focus of economic recovery
The APEC Women and The Economy Forum continues to focus on women’s empowerment. The Forum aims to maintain the drive for gender equality toward better and sustainable economic recovery. The way forward is by ensuring viable and equal growth opportunities in women and girls’ economic empowerment.
Indonesia has 64.2 million MSMEs, making up more than 90% of the existing businesses in the country. In 2022, almost 61% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) came from the contribution of MSMEs. Statistics from the Indonesia Women in Business Action Council (WiBAC) also show that women entrepreneurs own 64% of Indonesia’s MSMEs.
However, according to World Bank statistics, only 54% of Indonesia’s work-eligible female population is actively working. By increasing women and girls’ workforce participation by 25% by 2025, Indonesia’s economy could grow by USD62 billion.
The APEC Forum’s overall objectives include promoting equitable and inclusive development of economic empowerment prospects. This would provide the best opportunities for women and girls to engage in and contribute. The Forum encourages member nations to ensure the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into initiatives and policies. They should also include addressing the needs of this group, especially concerning diverse backgrounds.
Gender Equality and Empowerment
To reach APEC’s goal, member nations must roll out policies and national initiatives that mirror the Forum’s overall vision. Women’s empowerment strategies necessitate equal access to capital availability and market segmentation. Nations need action plans that upskill women and girls towards leadership positions, digital literacy, and more inclusive workforce participation. This includes creating more roles and fairer representation by women in the political arena.
Progress requires member nations to create a supportive ecosystem with collaborative systems and sympathetic environments. Women are key drivers across Asia-Pacific but continue to struggle due to a lack of family-friendly policies. Nations can overcome this problem by adopting action plans and strategies that provide an enabling environment promoting inclusive empowerment.
The Forum also highlights successful policies from other economies already showing promising results. This includes generating opportunities such as the BCG or bio-circular-green economy model popular in Thailand. The BCG model combines biological diversity, technology, and culture to produce innovation-driven economies. Indonesia is an ideal economy with its vast resources, talented population, and rich cultural diversity.
Creating Sustainable Opportunities
APEC’s Aotearoa Plan of Action targets MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises), women and other groups with unrealised economic potential. APEC encourages member nations to improve regulations and other strategies to support women’s empowerment and these groups’ inclusion and development.
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