Agenda Item: III b II
Gender Related Developments in APEC
(September 2004-September 2005)
Submitted by: APEC Secretariat
Gender Focal Point Network
5-6 September 2005
Gender Related Developments in APEC
(September 2004-September 2005)
The purpose of this annual report is to highlight declaration and statements related to
gender issues made by Leaders and Ministers to enable women to participate fully in the
APEC process. It also outlines the gender-related developments in APEC.
When APEC Ministers gathered in Santiago, Chile for the 16th APEC Ministerial
Meeting on November 20004 they noted that APEC needed to formulate and implement
policies that promote the development of women-owned and -managed SMEs and MEs,
including business development and export support services that target women's
enterprises in the region.
Ministers recognized the need for women-specific programs to develop technical and
digital skills, as well as to strengthen women's business development at all levels, and
welcomed the recommendation to support the APEC project "Initiative for APEC
Women's Participation in the Digital Economy".
Ministers noted the important role of the Gender Focal Point Network for the
implementation of the Framework for the Integration of Women in APEC. They
recognized the need to reinforce and promote gender integration in APEC through
studies, research and collaborative projects among APEC fora aimed at strengthening the
participation of women in trade within the region. They welcomed the continued
participation of the Women Leaders Network (WLN) in the APEC process and
commended its commitment towards the advancement of women and gender issues
throughout APEC, including through establishment of a gender advisory group within
each economy's coordinating mechanism.
Ministers commended the valuable contribution of the CTI project "Supporting Potential
Women Exporters" in identifying how APEC's trade liberalization and facilitation agenda
can be inclusive of gender considerations. They looked forward to follow-up activities
by CTI and other APEC fora that will increase trade and advance gender equality.
Ministers asked Senior Officials to report on follow-up to the project's recommendations
by the 2005 MRT.
Ministers also recognized that English and other languages constitute critical operational
tools for SMEs, micro enterprises, youth and women.
APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade, gathered in Jeju, Korea in June, 2005, recognised
the different impacts and opportunities that trade presents for men and women, and the
relevance of integrating gender concerns into trade policy. They instructed officials to
proceed with follow-up activities to the project 'Supporting Potential Women Exporters,'
including: reporting on economies' current policies to support women exporters;
identifying the APEC region's best practices on the basis of those reports; and work to
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identify and implement trade facilitation and transparency measures that meet the needs
of women exporters and small businesses.
At the APEC Small and Medium Enterprise Ministerial Meeting held in Santiago, Chile
in October 2004, Ministers welcomed the continued participation of the WLN in the
MESG and commended its commitment to the advancement of women and gender issues
throughout APEC. They noted that the WLN was seeking support and requested SOM
and APEC Secretariat to explore how this could be achieved. Ministers agreed that
APEC needed to formulate and implement policies that promote the development of
women-managed SMEs and MEs and business development services for those firms.
Ministers also encouraged the sharing of best practices across APEC and welcomed the
participation of the WLN in the SMEWG and Ministerial Meetings.
Recognizing the work done by the Women Leaders Network, Ministers noted the
recommendation that the MESG and WLN jointly conduct a research project on the
participation of women in MEs. By collecting such sex-disaggregated data, economies
can better understand the participation and economic contribution of women, including
indigenous women, in MEs in the APEC region.
At the recently concluded APEC Small and Medium Enterprises Meeting held in Daegu,
Korea on September 1-2, 2005, Ministers thanked the participation by and contributions
from related organizations such as the Women Leaders' Network. Ministers welcomed
the continued participation of the WLN in the MESG, SMEWG and Ministerial meetings
and commended its commitment to the advancement of women and gender issues
The WLN submitted the results and recommendations of the 10th WLN meeting. The
theme of the meeting was "Prosperity of Women Entrepreneurs through Innovation: New
Vision for Women Entrepreneurs." The SMEWG was asked to review the WLN’s
recommendations, and give them due consideration.
In the Patagonia Declaration on Tourism in the APEC Region (October, 2004) Ministers
recognized that there should be closer ties with the APEC Women's Leaders' Network to
foster the greater inclusion of women as travellers and tourism entrepreneurs.
Gender-related developments in APEC
Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group (ATCWG)
Women are represented in all the activities of the ATCWG. Delegations to the 8th
Plenary meeting included many woman delegates, and women have been participating in
all of the ATCWG projects.
Viet Nam gave an evaluation report to the group on the “Regional Study on Gender and
Globalization in Agriculture” (2004/ATC8/38). The overall objective of this project was
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to increase understanding within the region of the opportunities and constraints women
face in the context of globalisation specifically with respect to agriculture and rural
development with a view to developing recommendations to APEC Governments and
ATCWG. These recommendations will be aimed at assisting APEC economies to
develop gender sensitive policies and to implement the Gender Framework, specifically
in relation to access to productive resources necessary to ensure women are able to
increase their productivity and value added. Therefore, in the long-term the development
of these recommendations and the implementation by governments and regional
organisations will be an indication of success.
A Gender Focal Point has been appointed for the ATCWG.
Energy Working Group (EWG)
Women are strongly represented in the EWG and its work program, and benefit from
many of the outcomes it achieves, for example:
At EWG27, several member economies had women delegates, including
Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and the United
The previous Chair of the APEC Energy Business Network was a woman;
Women benefit from the activities of the EWG, for example through economic
development and growth, improved access to clean and affordable energy, and
environment improvements in energy production and use;
Women have participated in a number of EWG projects, either as consultants
undertaking the project or as stakeholders participating in project activities;
The EWG actively considers the role of women in APEC activities and how they
will benefit from their outcomes, particularly through the development and
implementation of project, and reporting on project outcomes; and
A Gender Focal Point has been appointed for the EWG.
Fisheries Working Group (FWG)
The FWG has made a conscious decision to include women in all phases of APEC
projects and planning efforts, incorporating women’s role in local fishing communities
and involvement in the commerce of live reef food fish. The result of this has been an
increase in participation by women in aquaculture and the live reef food fish trade.
Women have been involved in project planning as well as monitoring and evaluating the
results of projects. Women have filled all roles, including women from local fishing
communities, women NGO staff, women policy officials and women end consumers.
Gender experts from Chile participated in the 2004 FWG meeting and recommended to
use the Gender Analysis Framework that was developed as part of the FWG project
Women in Aquaculture (FWG 03/1999).
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Human Resources Development Working Group (HRD)
The focal point of the Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN) for the HRD WG called for
closer collaboration with the Working Group to address and integrate gender perspectives
into HRD WG activities.
GFPN encouraged that member economies planning projects consult gender experts in
the respective economy, which can be identified through APEC Secretariat.
In response to Senior Officials’ call at SOM II 2003 that all APEC fora should participate
in GFPN, the HRDWG will include gender information in its reports to SOM.
Marine Resources Conservation Working Group (MRCWG)
The GFPN attended the 17 th Annual Meeting of the MRCWG held on 6-8 May 2004 in
Puerto Varas, Chile.
Chile assumed the role of Gender Focal Point for the MRCWG for the period of 2004.
Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SME’s)
At the March 2004 meeting, the SMEWG Gender Focal Point Network representative
updated the group on the study on sex disaggregated data on the economic contributions
of women and men in APEC economies, being conducted by the United States. A
preliminary inventory of the available data indicates gaps in the data for many APEC
member economies. The lack of sex-disaggregated data in individual economies and the
absence of historical data in others makes it difficult to asses the changes of gender
participation in economic activities, and as a consequence prevents development of
appropriate policy responses.
The Gender Focal Point Network representative from Chile submitted a report to the
SMEWG and highlighted the importance of the incorporation of gender considerations
into the activities of APEC fora as a “cross cutting issue” as it is stated in the Framework
for the Integration of Women in APEC Economies.
The SMEWG has also worked closely on issues relating to gender with the WLN.
Transportation Working Group (TPTWG)
At the TPT-WG23, New Zealand compiled a database of economy contacts for Gender
issues and economies were encouraged to nominate their gender contact persons so that
the database could be finalised. Few economies have responded.
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At the SC HRD meeting in Bangkok (TPTWG24) , the Philippines volunteered to
become the Gender Focal Point for the TPT-WG.
Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL)
Worth noting is the fact that TEL has been chaired by six people, two of them women,
from Singapore and from Mexico. Also the group that constitutes the Executive
Committee of the TEL (Vice-Chairs, Convenors and Deputy Convenors) has historically
been composed of a balanced mixture of men and women. Also attendants to TEL
meetings (the group that constitute TEL delegates) have been balanced.
All TEL projects are targeted neutrally to audiences that have usually been balanced
between men and women. Also they have been developed equally with no distinctions by
experts and consultants from both gender categories.
Tourism Working Group (TWG)
Women are well represented in the TWG and its work based on the APEC Tourism
Charter and benefit from many of the outcomes of TWG activities/projects;
Appointed the TWG Lead Shepherd as the Gender Focal Point for TWG.
Trade Promotion Working Group (TPWG)
The group evaluated outcomes of the project Gender Analysis in TPO Activities by Chile
on 3–5 September 2003 in Santiago.
Social Safety Net-Capacity Building Network (SSN-CBN)
At the SSN-CBN’s APEC Symposium on Strengthening Social Safety Nets under Rapid
Socioeconomic Changes held on 23 – 24 August 2005 in Seoul, Korea, a representative
from the APEC Gender Focal Point Network made a presentation on the integration of
gender in APEC and how this can be progressed in the SSN-CBN. This was received
with enthusiasm from a number of delegates who reiterated the importance of collecting
gender-related data when exploring social safety nets issues.
Participants and speakers at the Symposium consisted of both men and women. A few of
the presentations from member economies at the Symposium did provide some gender-
related information. For instance, the Mexican report included statistics for men and
women in relation to one of its social safety net programs. There was general agreement
that it would be beneficial for future studies to include data related to women, so that
gender-specific issues within social safety nets can be addressed more effectively.
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Electronic Commerce Steering Group (ECSG)
In 2004, the ECSG and the GFPN endorsed the “Initiative for APEC Women’s
Participation in the Digital Economy” proposed by Korea.
The initiative is based on a holistic, systematic, continuous and collaborative approach. It
will be pursued by carrying out the following four phases on e-business annually from
2005 to 2009: 1) baseline research, 2) capacity building, 3) cy-Biz community building,
and 4) policy forum. The initiative will serve as a catalyst to accelerate the widespread e-
business and informatization of women enterprises. It will promote start-up businesses,
micro-enterprises, and SMEs.
Under this initiative, Korea has organized the Forum on ICTs and Gender on June 24 –
25; APEC Women's e-Biz Training from July 24 to July 30; and the APEC Forum on
Digital Economy for Women on Aug.22-23. Korea will present a progress report of this
initiative to the ECSG and GFPN meetings.
Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI)
In response to Ministers recommendation to follow-up activities to the project
“Supporting Potential Women Exporters”. New Zealand has volunteered to undertake a
survey of all APEC member economies on existing policies to support women exporters
to follow up on the report released by Canada.
Budget and Management Committee (BMC)
At the BMCII meeting held in Singapore, in August 2005, BMC members’ endorsed the
Sixth Edition Guidebook on APEC projects and recommend it be submitted to the
November AMM meeting for final approval;
With regards the Gender Criteria, this edition consider that, in formulating a project,
consideration must be given as to how the project will benefit women (and how this will
be measured and evaluated), how women will participate in the project and how the
results will be disseminated to them. Project proponents are encouraged to inform their
respective Fora Gender Focal Point of any problems encountered in the development of
project proposals. The Fora Gender Focal Point in coordination with the GFPN will
provide assistance or advice to properly complete gender issues in the proposal.
APEC Projects related to Gender Integration (2004-2005)
HIV/AIDS and Migrant/Mobile Workers (HTF 06/2005). Experience from southern
Africa has demonstrated the influence that population movements can have on
HIV/AIDS. The internal and cross-border movement of workers can have a significant
impact in fuelling the HIV/AIDS pandemic. With the Asia-Pacific region at a critical
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moment in the fight to prevent an HIV/AIDS epidemic, it is critical to deal with the issue
amongst high-risk groups to prevent the pandemic from spreading further. This project
will involve a multi-day workshop/symposium that will focus on HIV/AIDS issues for
migrant worker populations.
The workshop will also address the gender aspects of this issue since women are
considered at higher risk of infection amongst mobile workers, as well as the human
rights components with respect to ensuring that national responses and strategies protect
the rights of non-nationals. The aim of the project is to improve responses to HIV/AIDS
amongst APEC economies and in particular to enhance regional coordination and
cooperation in dealing with migrant worker populations. The project will seek to engage
a number of experts from organizations such as the International Organization for
Migration, UNAIDS, and those involved in the Canada South-East Asia Regional
HIV/AIDS Project. The project will be open to all APEC economies and will work with
National AIDS Commissions, Labour Ministries, and non-governmental organizations.
While a specific date and location still needs to be confirmed, it is anticipated that the
workshop will take place during October 2005. Canada will be looking to partner with an
APEC economy for the purpose of co-hosting the workshop in the Asia-Pacific region.
Enabling e-MES Environment - through survey and e-community based capacity
building (SME 02/2004). APEC leaders in their 2002 declaration recognized the
importance of further action on connectivity for remote areas such as micro-enterprises
(MES), women, and youth for e-APEC. To facilitate and promote globalization within
APEC economies, they also agreed on the need for economic and technical cooperative
activities to empower MES by providing improved access to information and human
capacity building. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is becoming a
vital tool for MES to be productive and innovative in the new economy. However, MES
have poor financial and human resources to access proper skills and knowledge needed
for ICT. Thus it is important to develop systematic and collaborative initiatives for MES
informatisation. Training intermediaries or community representatives as a catalyst for
this process can be an effective way to accelerate a widespread informatisation of MES.
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