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Women's Worth Is Never Done in Asia Pacific Region: Report
Source:Chinese Women's Research Network | Release Date:2011-9-16-
Title: Women's Worth Is Never Done in Asia Pacific Region: Report
Release Date: Sep.16, 2011
Keyword: women, Asia pacific region, report

Girls and women are a underdeveloped resource in the Asia Pacific region, and enormous amount of work needs to be done to bring the number of women in leadership positions in all walks of life to a level matching the true gender ratio, a new report has found.

Even in the highest represented Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economy, women occupy only 15.7 percent of corporate board seats, with top government positions woefully underrepresented, accord to a white paper presented to the ongoing APEC Women and the Economy Summit held in San Francisco.

Clockwise, from upper left: Indra Nooyi; Julia Gillard; Yingluck Shinawatra; Aung San Suu Kyi. []

The white paper, titled "Developing Next Generation Women Leaders across the Asia Pacific Region," is prepared by Asia Society, a nonprofit organization.

At various levels, women remain undervalued and their skills or potential underutilized and underdeveloped in the region, the report said.


"Consequently, the Asia Pacific region is not optimizing one of its fundamental human resources for economic growth: potential women leaders," it noted.


The white paper listed several common barriers that are hampering the success of women across the Asia Pacific region, such as manifestations of the glass ceiling range from acts of commission that actively discriminate against women or stereotype female leaders, as well as acts of omission that neglect to showcase female role models.

"The age-old tightrope between work and family is par for the obstacle course for every working woman, made worse by inflexible work structures and poor support infrastructure for working women, " the report said.

The white paper puts forward a set of recommendations aimed at addressing the barriers with measures focusing on education and providing support for working women to progress to positions of leadership.

It recommends that APEC should start a program in order to provide young women with borderless scholarships funded by the private sector.

Other recommendations include the establishment of a resource center in a member economy to develop resources for taking working women to the next stage of leadership.

The APEC Women and the Economy Summit, the first ever such meeting held by the premier economic organization in the region, runs from Sept. 14 to 16.

The event has brought together senior private and public sector leaders for a dialogue on fostering women's economic empowerment among the APEC economies.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the meeting on Friday on the inclusion of women as an economic growth strategy.

She will also chair a high-level policy dialogue which will submit recommendations to the APEC leaders on how to strengthen women's economic participation, spokesperson from the U.S. Department of State said on Thursday.

The APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting is scheduled in Honolulu, Hawaii, in November.

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