The measures that the country will be promoting seek to increase women’s participation in non-traditional economic sectors, create indicators to identify gender gaps and draw up strategies to improve women’s access to technology.
In November, Chile will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) and will be the first host country to promote women’s participation in the economy and international trade as a central priority of the association.
“The issue of women and their economic empowerment, with a focus on generating more and better economic participation, is one that had never before been raised to the level of a priority for the year,” said APEC Chile 2019 content director, Krasna Bobenrieth.
In addition to the participation of women, APEC will be focusing on three other key issues this year: the Digital Society, Integration 4.0 and Sustainable Growth.
“We can choose three or four topics as priorities for the year and sought topics that were innovative, on which APEC could add value, that were a bit different and where APEC, as a forum, could make a relevant contribution and Chile could show leadership,” said the director of content for APEC Chile.
In Asia-Pacific, women’s economic activity is limited by a series of barriers such as a lack of access to markets and trade links. This has inhibited the region’s growth, with an estimated annual cost of US$89 billion, according to APEC.
By promoting this agenda - which will be debated during various activities in Chile over the course of the year - Chile will be helping to strengthen efforts to incorporate a gender approach transversally across the Forum, indicated Bobenrieth. “We are working on this great roadmap for women’s economic empowerment and think this will become a way of organizing the Forum’s work, not only during this year but also in the years to come, because it will generate action,” she explained.
The measures considered in APEC’s roadmap for this year are: to attract women to non-traditional sectors of the economy, to create indicators through which to visualize gender gaps in trade and to identify strategies to improve women’s access to digital tools.
Short-term results are expected in the participation of women in non-traditional sectors because “it is an area in which APEC has a track record; this group was created by the US in 2011 and this has been its focus,” said the Chilean representative.
In addition, Bobenrieth hopes there will be sustained work “in other areas such as increasing the number of women in leadership positions”.
Twenty-one countries linked by the Pacific Ocean participate in APEC. Chile’s initiative is supported by “Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Korea; these are the countries with a more proactive agenda, but all the countries supported it,” added the content director for APEC Chile 2019.