"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] 15th Meeting of the APEC Women Leaders Network Recommendations to APEC Leaders and Ministers

[Place] Tokyo, Japan
[Date] September 21, 2010
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

The 15th Women Leaders' Network Meeting, comprising over 500 women and men from business, government, academia, civil society and indigenous communities met in Tokyo on 19-21 September 2010. We discussed the theme of "Creation of New Global Economic Activities by Women-Realization through People, Nature and Culture."

WLN calls upon APEC Leaders and Ministers to recognize women's significant economic and trade contributions to the Asia Pacific region and promote dynamic and inclusive growth through implementing policy recommendations based on three pillars:

- Career Development of Women in Organizations;

- Realization of Women's Entrepreneurship through People, Nature, and Culture; and,

- Creating New Economic Opportunities for Women, including creating enabling environments that promote the Women's Empowerment Principles.

Career Development of Women in Organizations

- Participation of Women in Management -

1. Collaborate with the private sector on initiatives that encourage and accelerate the promotion of women in management, leadership and board positions such as setting targets and reporting progress.

- Capacity Building 窶摘ducation and Training -

2. Strengthen continuing education, vocational training and life-long learning for women, in particular implementing and improving access to training for women (re-)entering the labor force. Promote and disseminate information on such training programs.

- Women in Science and Technology -

3. Work in partnership with the private sector to eliminate negative stereotypes, increase employment opportunities and promote the visibility and success of women educated in the field of science and technology.

- Improvement of Working Environment-

4. Encourage and enable women to remain in the workforce by creating appropriate policies for work-life balance such as flexible work schedules and other measures that encourage women and men to share family responsibilities.

Realization of Women's Entrepreneurship through People, Nature and Culture

- Access to finance -

5. Access to finance for women continues to be a significant challenge in all APEC economies. WLN urges Leaders and Ministers to strengthen efforts to improve women's access to various financial products and services such as public finance, equity finance and micro finance. Increase innovative access to finance for women-owned SMEs and microenterprises, including for women in the informal sector, by removing legal and regulatory impediments.

- Supporting Entrepreneurs in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises -

6. WLN encourages each economy to develop a strategic action plan that includes women's enterprise development.

7. Strengthen measures that foster women's entrepreneurship and create business enabling environments through public-private partnerships. WLN acknowledges the ongoing Ease-of-Doing-Business (EoDB) programs currently being implemented by various APEC fora and recommends additional knowledge-based economy skills programs for women entrepreneurs that also include girls.

8. Facilitate women's access to corporate, government and international markets, and global value chains by creating awareness and providing training on procurement opportunities.

- Support Social Enterprise -

9. Promote businesses that utilize regional characteristics of nature, environment and culture without exploiting the natural environment or traditional knowledge.

10. Conduct research on social enterprises, train potential social entrepreneurs, and formulate incentives to enter the field of social entrepreneurship.

Creating New Economic Opportunities for Women

- Women as Key Economic Drivers -

11. Support the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) announced by UNIFEM and UN Global Compact as guiding principles to promote inclusive and sustainable growth that advances regional economic, social and market integration across APEC economies.

12. Recognize the role and talents of women, including indigenous women, in responding to the recent financial crisis and natural disasters, turning adversity into opportunity. - Innovation and ICT -

13. Ensure equal access to ICT and support for women who wish to learn and obtain technological know-how to utilize ICT as an economic empowerment tool.

- Gender Mainstreaming -

14. Improve the capacity of economies in the APEC region to collect, analyze and disseminate sex-disaggregated statistics and use emerging data to raise awareness among policy makers about gender disparities, which in turn, can create greater understanding of the gender-differentiated effects of policy reforms.

- Establishing Networks -

15. Foster networking opportunities within organizations, economies, and across borders for women to be active participants in the economy, especially in areas where fewer women are engaged such as science, technology and starting business. Encourage economic organization to plan study visits and exchange programs for women.

16. Women are still under-represented on the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). WLN urges Leaders to ensure that at least one woman from each economy be appointed to ABAC.

- Way Forward -

17. In order to encourage implementation of the preceding recommendations, WLN requests the Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN), in coordination with the SME Working Group, to incorporate in the Report on the Implementation of the Framework on the Integration of Women in APEC, the following Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of progress (in numbers and/or percentage of women) as:

1. Board members of (listed) companies

2. SME owners

3 ABAC Members

If obtaining such data is not feasible, alternative, concrete measures of progress should be reported.

WLN will seek the assistance of the GFPN to monitor the implementation of the WLN recommendations in each economy and will invite the GFPN Chair to report on its activities in the next and future WLN meetings.

WLN welcomes the United States' proposal to hold a High Level Policy Meeting on Women's Economic Empowerment in San Francisco in September, 2011.

WLN would like to extend its gratitude to Japan for hosting this meeting and convey its appreciation to the United States for offering to host the 16th meeting of the WLN.