Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today chaired the virtual APEC 2021 Women and the Economy Forum, which is working to address outstanding issues for women and girls across the region as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The forum brought together Ministers and representatives from 21 economies to discuss gender equality and women’s economic empowerment across the APEC region.
“As COVID-19 continues to have a disproportionate impact on women and girls around the world, we must take the opportunity to discuss our collective goals for women and girls in the interests of our economies across the region,” Jan Tinetti said.
Ministers participating at the forum issued a statement which prioritises the implementation of the La Serena Roadmap (APEC’s action plan on women’s economic empowerment agreed in 2019), gender responsive policies for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring a sustainable and resilient recovery for women and girls.
“Some key issues we’ve identified include women’s representation in trade, changes to address gender pay gaps and occupational segregation, the disproportionate share of care work undertaken by women and girls, equal access to digital skill training and financial literacy and gender-based violence in all its forms,” Jan Tinetti said.
“New Zealand has long been at the forefront of fighting for gender equality and we are committed to further improving the lives of women and girls in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our focus includes developing a Women’s Employment Action Plan to support women to build back better after the pandemic, women in leadership, closing the gender pay gap, safety from family and sexual violence and improving outcomes for wāhine Maori.
“The APEC Women and the Economy Forum allows us to share what New Zealand is doing for women’s economic empowerment as part our COVID-19 recovery plan, and learn from other economies about their plans.
“As Chair of this forum, I’d like to thank all of the economies represented for their commitment to ensuring women’s economic empowerment is part of the recovery from the pandemic,” JanTinetti said.
Media contact: Ravi de Silva 021 805 451
Notes to editors:
APEC is home to 2.9 billion people, represents 60 per cent of world GDP and 48 per cent of world trade (according to 2018 figures).
New Zealand’s three policy priorities for APEC 2021 are shaped by the COVID-19 crisis and focused on bringing the region together to promote an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery.
Economic and trade policies to strengthen recovery
This priority focuses on APEC’s economic response to COVID-19. It aims to encourage trade and economic policies that support openness and connectivity, and reduce friction at the border in order to to reduce barriers and make it easier for companies to trade and do business throughout the APEC region.
Increasing inclusion and sustainability for recovery
This priority acknowledges the need for APEC’s long-term response to COVID-19 to be sustainable and inclusive of all people. It is about enhancing the participation of groups such as women and indigenous people in the economy, and ensuring their contributions are valued. It will also ensure the region’s recovery can be used to improve sustainability outcomes, including in the area of climate change.
Pursuing innovation, and a digitally enabled recovery
The priority focuses on APEC taking advantage of innovation in the digital space to improve the way business is done and make it more efficient and adaptable. It aims to encourage APEC members to embrace open and competitive markets for new technologies.
There have been over 50 million cases of COVID-19 within APEC’s borders, with over one million deaths. The region has registered more than 100,000 new cases every day since November 2020 and, during this time, more than 22 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty.
APEC-wide GDP contracted by 1.9 percent in 2020, the biggest fall since World War Two. While economic growth is recovering, around 81 million jobs have been lost due to the pandemic.
New Zealand’s host year runs from December 2020 until November 2021.