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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Narrowing the gap: the priority area of Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth

The role of women in society and their integration into traditionally male-dominated spaces has topped the list of the most frequently discussed issues of recent years. This is why APEC Chile 2019 has included Women, SMEs and Inclusive Growth among its priorities for this year.

In 2018, the World Economic Forum developed the Global Gender Gap Report, a study that measures gender inequality in 144 countries, including Chile. The latest version of the report found that if conditions remain unchanged, it will take 108 years to close the overall gender gap.

In other words, most of us who are alive today will never live in a completely equal society because the process of reaching that point will take over a century. So what can we do to help solve this problem?

Since 1998, four economies have proposed creating spaces and meetings for discussing gender issues, but APEC Chile has taken a major step. As hosts, we have decided to be the first economy to focus one of its priorities on the empowerment of those who have historically had fewer opportunities and faced more obstacles.

An assessment was made of the times and ways in which this issue has been discussed in APEC meetings and this developed into the Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth, the most ambitious project related to this priority. The roadmap is designed to review the initiatives that have been executed thus far, analyze the current situation and reflect on the goals that we wish to achieve in the future.

In addition, APEC data collection processes will be examined in order to avoid reproducing the statistical voids that currently exist and thus improve the visibility of the gaps.

In this way, APEC will work to increase women’s participation in the economies, promote SMEs, expand job opportunities and reduce the gender gap in digital literacy. We expect the results to be presented during the Leaders’ Meeting in November this year.

Source: World Economic Forum, APEC