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Gender integrated into work of APEC


Gender integrated into work of APEC

The APEC Second Ministerial Meeting on Women, which took place in Guadalajara Mexico at the weekend, took an important step towards integrating gender into APEC activities, Labour Minister Margaret Wilson said today.

New Zealand and the Philippines presented a paper at the Meeting on the effects of trade liberalisation on gender.

Margaret Wilson, who has just returned from Mexico, said recommendations from this paper formed part of the joint Ministerial Statement agreed by the Meeting. They included:

active labour market measures; adequate social safety nets; EEO best practices; and policies that balance work and family life.

Ministers made recommendations to the APEC economies on:

the need for a gender analysis and perspective in the work of APEC; the need for more systematic and comprehensive collection of sex-disaggregated data and on the contribution of unpaid work of women, through the APEC sex-disaggregated data study; encouragement for APEC economies to address inequalities faced by women workers as a result of industry restructuring due to trade liberalisation; encouragement of APEC economies to identify women experts with a view to increasing the participation of women in all APEC activities including more appointments of women in APEC for a, as well as in the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and the APEC Secretariat; in recognition of the unique contribution of indigenous peoples to their economies, request APEC economies and related fora to enable the participation of indigenous women, and encourage research that reflects their experiences with a view to addressing the specific challenges they face from trade liberalisation.
“The Ministerial Statement also agreed to the implementation of a Gender Focal Point Network as a permanent mechanism in APEC to integrate gender,” Margaret Wilson said. “This will become the first gender integration mechanism in any multilateral trade body once it is endorsed by the APEC Leaders at their meeting later this month.”

The meeting also addressed how to increase micro-financing to assist women in business, and the need for measures to help women’s full participation in the digital economy. “One of the most informative sessions of the Meeting was one in which business women exchanged experiences on the issues facing women in developing business opportunities,” Margaret Wilson said. “One of the three business women to address the meeting was New Zealander June McCabe, an executive with WestpacTrust in Wellington.”

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