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ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit encourages women to further uphold their role

November 14, 2020 | 08:08

The ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit on November 12 was also one of the important activities within the framework of the ASEAN Year 2020 to mark the 25th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of Beijing Declaration on gender equality, the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council’s first Resolution on women, peace and security, and the fifth anniversary of the ASEAN Community and the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals till 2030.

top vietnamese leader affirms maintaining peaceful stable cohesive and united asean region Top Vietnamese leader affirms maintaining peaceful, stable, cohesive and united ASEAN region
asean china enjoy dynamic and substantive partnership pm says ASEAN, China enjoy dynamic and substantive partnership, PM says
europes renowned modern diplomacy highly valued vietnams 2020 chairmanship of asean Europe's renowned Modern Diplomacy highly valued Vietnam’s 2020 Chairmanship of ASEAN
ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit encourages women to further uphold their role
NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (L) and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the event. Photo: VNA

The ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit was held within the framework of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meetings, VNA reported.

The event afforded ASEAN leaders a chance to talk with outstanding female leaders in the region and at international organisations about how to further uphold their role in the process of building the ASEAN Community following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Invited participants to the Women Leaders' Summit are heads of state and senior government representatives from member states and representatives of international organizations such as the World Bank.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc described women as an indispensable factor in the process of building peace and sustainable security.

Most recently, women’s role has been proved in the fight against COVID-19 when countries led by women record deaths that are six times lower than those in other countries, he said.

He cited the UN’s estimate as saying that 435 million women and girls will be pushed into poverty by 2021, 47 million of them are directly hit by COVID-19. Additionally, social distancing policies and national resources for pandemic prevention and control also contribute to increasing domestic violence and reducing the quality of key medical services for women.

The PM wished that the summit would offer important orientations to help ASEAN women contribute more widely and effectively to the process of building ASEAN Community as well as actively join efforts to ensure peace, security, sustainable and inclusive development in the region.

Speaking about the theme “Women Empowerment for Inclusive and Sustainable Development in a Changing World”, Dutch Queen Maximax, who is also special advocate to the UN Secretary-General for Inclusive Finance for Development, addressed the importance of good access to and use of financial services for development. The current corona crisis shows that inclusive financing is an important tool for partially absorbing the socio-economic consequences.

ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit encourages women to further uphold their role
Dutch Queen Máxima delivered the opening remarks in ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit in her role as the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. Source: UNSGSA

World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Victoria Kwakwa shared suggestions to protect women’s health as well as help them join socio-economic activities following the pandemic.

At the event, Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan called for ensuring legitimate economic and health benefits of women via effective and timely measures. She urged that global, regional and national efforts related to gender equality should be maintained and unobstructed.

Accordingly, ASEAN needs to put women into focus of reconstruction and recovery, enhance women’s leadership and voices in decision-making process, increase their economic empowerment to narrow development gap, strengthen ASEAN Community’s resilience against external shocks, she said.

Amid rapid and complicated developments in the region and the world, she called on ASEAN to take new, creative and effective approaches to upholding women’s role in every aspect, especially tapping benefits from digital technology.

According to her, Vietnam will hold the ASEAN High-level Forum on women’s role in comprehensive and sustainable recovery next year. She believed that the forum would offer practical recommendations to realise the ASEAN comprehensive recovery framework recently adopted at the 37th ASEAN Summit as well as assist the process of building post-2025 ASEAN Vision./.

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