APEC members recognize that the full potential of women’s contribution to the Asia-Pacific economy remains untapped. As a result, women’s economic empowerment and greater inclusion of women in the regional economy are high on APEC’s agenda.

A recent United Nations report states that limits on women’s participation in the workforce across the Asia-Pacific region cost the economy an estimated US $89 billion every year.

Currently, in the 21 APEC economies, approximately 600 million women are in the labor force, with over 60 percent engaged in the formal sector.

The goal of the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) is to advance the economic integration of women in the APEC region for the benefit of all members and to coordinate gender activities across other APEC working groups.

The PPWE was established at the second Senior Officials’ Meeting in May 2011 held at Big Sky, Montana, the United States. It combined the former APEC Gender Focal Point Network and the private sector-oriented Women’s Leadership Network – creating a single public-private entity to streamline and elevate the influence of women’s issues within APEC.

PPWE works to address the five key pillars impacting women’s economic empowerment including:

  • Access to capital  
  • Access to market
  • Skills and capacity building
  • Women’s leadership and agency
  • Innovation and technology.

Current Activities

The High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy 2015 Fora was held in September 15-18, 2015 in Manila Philippines. The meeting was chaired by Philippine Department of Trade and Industry Undersecretary Nora K.Terrado, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines.

APEC ministers, heads of delegations, seniors officials, and private sector leaders issued a statement.” that reaffirmes women’s crucial role in achieving economic prosperity and women’s leadership roles as imperative for competitiveness and success in the private and public sectors.  The main theme was “Women as Prime Movers of Inclusive Growth. The gathering also tackled three sub-themes: Women and Inclusive Business, Women in the International Markets and Global Value Chains and Women and Sustainable Development.     The representatives committed to work towards achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women, and building a better world. The statement is their contribution to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November, in Manila.

The statement also recognized the update Guide on Gender Criteria and the APEC Women and the Economy Dashboard as useful tools to ensure mainstreaming of gender perspectives across APEC and welcomed the outcomes of the Public and Private Dialogue on Women and the Economy (PPDWE).  

Current Projects and Initiatives:

Women’s Entrepreneurship

The Women's Entrepreneurship in APEC (WE-APEC) initiative, which was launched in 2014, examined each economy's efforts across government, private sector, and business network services to promote and support women's entrepreneurship.  The findings of the WE-APEC gap analysis under this initiative offered a detailed view of the landscape for women entrepreneurs in the APEC region. The economy assessments can be utilized to strengthen eco-systems that support women's entrepreneurship.  TheWE-APEC online platform, www.we-apec.com offers a dynamic directory of service providers for women-owned businesses across APEC and provides a way for governments, the private sector, business networks and entrepreneurs to connect to each other.

The survey on “Good Practices of Women’s Entrepreneurship in Local Communities in the Process of Disaster Reconstruction”, as well as the workshop held in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan on the occasion of the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, highlighted the important perspectives for women’s economic empowerment. These include the need for technical skills and knowledge support; the provision of gender-sensitive services to meet individual needs; the importance of strategic partnership, access to finance and local ownership; fostering management skills including human resource management; and increasing profits, innovation and access to the market.


Women’s Leadership

The “50 Leading Companies for Women in APEC” project aimed to demonstrate practices in improving women’s leadership by showcasing efforts of about 50 companies in the APEC region to empower women in their workplaces. The project can inspire other companies to learn and enhance women’s leadership and representation in their own respective workplaces.

The “Individual Action Plan (IAP) for the Enhancement of the Ratio of Women’s Representation in Leadership” project was launched to promote women's participation in the economy at all levels, particularly on leadership, decision-making and management. The IAPs will serve as mechanisms for measurable and aspirational voluntary goals which economies could work toward by the end of 2020, with a view to assessing progress of ratio of women's representation in leadership.

Women and Innovation and Technology 

The PPWE Multi-year Project “Innovation for Women and Economic Development: Facilitating Women’s Livelihood Development and Resilience with ICTs” provides women entrepreneurs an opportunity to exchange views on policies and practices of using information and communications technology (ICT) tools and assist them in establishing and expanding their enterprises.

The Women’s Business Smart Technology Seminar reaffirmed the potential and importance of women’s active participation in the economy through smart technology and promoted the building of knowledge partnerships and formulating regional strategies on the use of smart technology

Women and the Economy Dashboard:

It is an initiative that seeks to provide a snapshot of the status of women in APEC, by looking at a set of indicators in recent years, which allows measurement of the progress of women’s participation in economic-related activities and women’s inclusion in several aspects of life. The Dashboard is comprised of almost 80 indicator for each APEC economy and the APEC region as a whole. Those indicators are classified in five areas previously identified as priorities by the APEC Policy Partnership of Women and the Economy (PPWE): 1) access to capital and assets; 2) access to markets; 3) skills, capacity-building and health; 4) leadership, voice and agency; and 5) innovation and technology.  Link:  http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1656

For more information see news releases.


2015 Outcomes/deliverables:

  • Holding two PPWE meetings (PPWE1, PNG, 3-5 May 2015) (PPWE2, Manila 16 September 2015)

  • Adoption of the Work Plan 2015

  • Adoption of the revised Terms of Reference (TOR)

  • Adoption of the Strategic Plan 2015-2018

  • Adoption of the updated version of the Guide on Gender Criteria for APEC Project Proposals.

  • Adoption of the APEC Women and the Economy Dashboard

  • Launched of the APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economic Policy Toolkit.

  • Launched of the online platform of the women’s entrepreneurship in APEC (WE-APEC)

  • Adoption of the APEC Women and the Economy 2015 Fora Statement

MEETINGS in 2015:

PPWE1. - The First PPWE meeting was held in Port Moresby, PNG on May 03-05, 2015 for the first of two APEC 2015 Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) meetings.  The meeting was chaired by Ms. Emmeline Verzosa of the Philippine Commission on Women.

PPWE2. - The second PPWE meeting was held in Manila, Philippines on September 16, 2015. 

PPWE Workshops/Seminars:   The following meetings were held on September 15-16.

  • Women’s Entrepreneurship in APEC (WE-APEC) Workshop: Setting the Agenda for Action. (Lead Economy: US)
  • Women and the Economy Dashboard: Developing an Implementation Plan (Lead Economy: US)
  • 2015 APEC Women’s Business and Smart Technology Seminar: Including &Leveraging Smart Technology for Empowering APEC Women Entrepreneurs (Lead Economy: Korea) 
  • Seminar on Empowering Women through ICT for Inclusive Growth-Notional Agenda (Lead Economy: Chinese Taipei)

Public-Private Dialogue on Women and the Economy (PPDWE) 2015

The Philippines President Benigno S. Aquino III delivered a speech during the opening of the PPDWE. He emphasized “We are here to express our collective belief that harnessing the talents and potential of all women can bring about inclusive progress sooner rather than later.

The opening program also include the welcome remarks from Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado, Chair of the APEC WE 2015 Fora and from Ms. Doris Magsaysay Ho, Chair of ABAC.

Presentation on the following items were very well-received     

  • Panel Session I: The Global Gender Picture.

  • Panel Session II:  Young Women Leaders as Powerful Drivers of Change.

  • Panel Session III: Women in the International Markets and Global Value Chains.

  • Panel Session IV: Women and Inclusive Business

  • Panel Session V: Women and Sustainable Development.

Closing Remarks: Private sector lead representative by past, future and present host economy made a remark.

2016 Meetings;  Peru will host the PPWE, PPD and HLPD-WE meetings in June, in Lima in 2016.


Marcela Huaita (Ms)
Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations
Email: mhuaita@mimp.gob.pe
Ana Maria Mendieta (Ms)
Vice-Minister of Women
Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations
Email: amendieta@mimp.gob.pe
Romy Tincopa (Ms)
Program Director
APEC Secretariat Email: rt14@apec.org


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