The La Serena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth (2019-2030) 

Ensuring the greater integration and empowerment of women in the Asia Pacific region 

La Serena, Chile

October, 2019

  1. Introduction

    For over two decades, APEC has been working to advance women’s economic integration in the region. In 2011, APEC Leaders welcomed the San Francisco Declaration on Women and the Economy that encouraged economies to take concrete actions to realize the full potential of women. APEC’s work has focused on the integration and empowerment of women, by enhancing their access to capital and assets; markets; skills and capacity building; leadership opportunities, voice and agency; and access to innovation and technology.

    However, women of diverse backgrounds continue to face multiple disproportionate barriers to economic empowerment compared to men, for example, when accessing credit and capital, participating in formal labor markets, and in entry, retention and advancement in the workforce.

    In view of this, in 2019, “Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth” was identified as a priority by Chile to give new momentum to our efforts. Through this Roadmap, we seek to provide concrete direction and catalyze policy actions across APEC that will drive greater inclusive economic development and participation of women in the Asia-Pacific region.

  2. The Roadmap

    This Roadmap builds on APEC’s previous extensive work, including information sharing and capacity building. We encourage stronger cross-fora collaboration and partnerships with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and other stakeholders.

    In order to identify and address the systemic barriers that limit the economic empowerment of women of all backgrounds and maximize their economic potential, we encourage the collection, analysis, dissemination and use of sex-disaggregated data.

    Recognizing that everyone has a role to play, this Roadmap will contribute to inclusive growth, help ensure access to decent work, narrow the gap in economic development, and advance development in rural and remote areas, raising living standards and reducing poverty. This will contribute to achieving gender equality and the economic empowerment of women and girls, consistent with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

  3. Key Action Areas

    This Roadmap seeks to encourage action in the following cross-cutting key areas, without prejudice to additional Key Action Areas that could support our overall efforts:

    1. Empowering women through access to capital and markets
      • Promote and facilitate cooperation in the public and private sector to help ensure that women, including women of diverse backgrounds, and women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), can access capital and assets, in both local and international markets.
      • Enhance women-owned and women-led MSMEs’ ability to participate in global value chains.
      • Provide capacity building activities and opportunities for networking, mentoring, and digital skills-building, among other core skills, to increase women’s business competencies and encourage their participation in the digital economy and innovation.
      • Exchange experiences and best practices that can effectively increase the participation of women in local, regional, and global markets.
    2. Strengthening women’s labor force participation
      • Take measures, such as structural reforms, to create an enabling environment for women to participate in the economy, including by reducing barriers and enhancing protections in policies, laws, regulations and practices.
      • Promote the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of women in all sectors, especially in higher-wage, high-growth sectors.
      • Advance inclusive policies and flexible working conditions, opportunities, and choices that enable women to remain and keep advancing in the workforce, as well as support the objectives of work-life balance and co-responsibility for both women and men.
      • Promote the transition of women from the informal to the formal economy, and the development of strategies to recognize and measure unpaid work.
      • Support policies to close the gender pay gap and improve women’s access to non-discriminatory, high quality employment and decent work in both rural and urban areas.
      • Address health-related barriers specific to women in the workforce, business, and entrepreneurship, such as improving workplace protections, health and safety, as well as increasing health access and awareness.
      • Actively encourage initiatives and strategies to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and discrimination in the workplace.
    3. Improving access of women to leadership positions in all levels of decision making
      • Increase women’s representation at all levels of leadership and decision-making in the private and public sectors by promoting role models, capacity building, and mentorship opportunities, among others.
      • Promote and enable an environment that actively supports gender equality and women’s empowerment and diversity as part of management strategies.
      • Collect, update and publish data on the ratio of women’s representation across multiple levels of leadership positions in the public and private sectors.
    4. Support women’s education, training and skills development and access in a changing world of work
      • Counter gender stereotypes in education, training and skills development.
      • Provide basic education as well as support for lifelong learning through education, training, upskilling and reskilling to boost women’s economic empowerment.
      • Address barriers to strengthen women and girls' access to and retention in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers.
      • Promote women and girls’ access to information and communication technologies, learning opportunities and digital skills building and training, especially for indigenous women, women in poverty, women with disabilities, and women in remote and rural areas.
      • Strengthen the sharing and use of data and best practices, to bridge the digital gender divide.
      • Encourage initiatives and strategies to prevent violence, abuse and harassment against women and girls, including online bullying and technology-facilitated abuse and harassment.
    5. Advancing women’s economic empowerment through data collection and analysis

      • Strengthen statistical capacity and cooperation between public and private sectors to better produce, collect, analyze and disseminate sex-disaggregated statistics.
      • Collect, update and publish sex-disaggregated data, as appropriate, to measure changes related to gender equality for all groups of women over time.
      • Promote the use of sex-disaggregated data in the development and enhancement of policies and programs.
  4. Targets

    We will strive to ensure that the APEC region makes progress across all above Key Action Areas and by 2030 we will endeavor to:

    • Have in place laws, policies, and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in employment access, opportunities and conditions.
    • Have in place non-discrimination laws, policies and regulations that provide equal access to capital and credit for both sexes.
    • Increase the region’s gender balance among STEM graduates in tertiary education, and in positions in research and R&D.
    • Increase the region’s gender balance in leadership positions, closing the gap for women.

    The APEC Women and the Economy Dashboard can assist the region in assessing progress in this area. We recognize that the contribution of each economy to the region’s achievements will depend on its particular social, economic, political and legal circumstances. We look forward to enhancing our future work, building on these efforts through concrete actions.

  5. Roadmap Implementation

    We assign Senior Officials with overall responsibility for monitoring and evaluating progress under the Roadmap. We instruct the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy to develop the Roadmap Implementation Plan in 2020, with a view to establishing processes for monitoring, reviewing and reporting progress. We encourage close collaboration with all APEC Fora, ABAC and other relevant stakeholders.