Resolution on Ensuring Inclusive Access to Education, Technical Training and Information Technology for Peace and Sustainable Development

APPF27 RES 02

27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
14-17 January 2019

Resolution on Ensuring Inclusive Access to Education, Technical Training and Information Technology for Peace and Sustainable Development

APPF27/RES/02

(Sponsored by Cambodia, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Mexico)

We, the parliamentarians of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), gather in the cultural and historical city of Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia, for the 27th Annual Meeting of APPF under the theme “Strengthening Parliamentary Partnership for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”;

Reaffirming the commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action, and the International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD);

Recalling the UN General Assembly Resolution 65/265 on the Participation of Women in Politics, adopted on December 19, 2011, urging states to improve women's access to information, communications and technology to enable their political participation and further recalling and reaffirming the adoption of the Resolution 72/228 of 18 January 2018, on science, technology and innovation for development with its commitment to promote equal access and participation in science, technology and innovation policies;

Recalling the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (2014), which highlighted the need to incorporate a gender perspective in the legislation, policies and programs of all sectors of the Government, including education, training, science and technology, academia, research institutions and research funding agencies;

Reiterating the APPF 25/RES. 22 on ‘Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls;

Increasing the Political, Economic and Social Participation of Women’, the APPF 23/RES.20 on Education, Culture, Science and Technology and APPF 22/RES.20 on the promotion of cooperation in education, culture, science and technology in the Asia Pacific region;

Welcoming the substantial progress made in increasing access to education for women and girls of whom more than 67 million have been enrolled in schools between 2010 and 2016 in the Asia-Pacific region;

Concerned over data shared by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, which shows that the enrollment rate for girls in secondary schools in 2016 was still as low as 45 percent in some Asia-Pacific countries, and that improvements have been slow until now;

Deeply concerned by persistent gender inequalities in education and in society despite international standards and agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the UN Declaration on Human Rights “Education for All”, and the SDGs;

Being convinced that equal access for all to education, technical training and information technology is the key to achieving peace and sustainable development;

Acknowledging APPF Member States’ policies and programs to achieve gender equality, and increasing engagement of both women and men in social and political life;

Taking note of the East Asia and the Pacific Social Institutions and Gender Index Regional Report 2016, particularly on the discriminatory social norms and gender imbalances in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) and Recognizing that STEM and ICT with Gender Equality are crucial contributions designated for progress, goals and targets of the SDGs;

Recognizing further that quality education can promote understanding, equality and friendship among all nations and all racial, ethnic and religious groups, and furthers the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace;

Understanding the importance of assuming collective responsibility and joint action to bring significant changes in the Asia-Pacific region;

Noting that the gender gap in innovation and digitalization is wide and will further disadvantage women as jobs are transforming and requiring high innovation and digitalization capacities;

Believing that enhancing access to education for women and girls contributes to socioeconomic development and undeniably fosters stronger social cohesion and political institutions;

Acknowledging parliamentarians’ role in mainstreaming gender-sensitive issues into national policies and legislations;


RESOLVES TO:

1. Reduce barriers to education, technical and vocational training (TVET), technology and STEM subjects for women and men, starting from primary level and continuing to tertiary education, including university;

2. Call on APPF Member States to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of women and girls, especially by ensuring equal access to education through increasing their efforts to achieve SDG 4 (Education for All);

3. Formulate, implement and promote policies and initiatives that would reduce barriers for women and children access to education; 

4. Implement and promote monitor treaties and conventions on education and to improve the implementation of existing legal frameworks and standards to advance gender equality in education;

5. Increase resources for women’s education in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT); Use SDG 4 as a guideline in adjusting, aligning and monitoring their legal and regulatory frameworks in providing inclusive and quality education;

6. Recommend that APPF Member States design and implement educational and vocational training programs that are responsive to the needs and dignity of women and girls, including those from rural communities;

7. Call on APPF Member States to provide women equal access to education, technical training, and better opportunities to pursue careers in the ICT sector;

8. Encourage APPF Member States to implement the Concluding Observations from the CEDAW Committee, including by fostering education and training for women and girls in ICT and other STEM subjects in the age of innovation and technological change;

9. Urge APPF Member States to develop, support and implement actions promoted by the UN and its bodies under the framework of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the World Summit on the Information Society;

10. Encourage the APPF Member States to raise women’s awareness on the benefits of vocational and ICT training both for women and society as a whole, and take action to improve foundation skills such as functional numeracy, literacy and critical thinking, especially for those experiencing foundation skills gaps, as these are essential for acquiring other skills and achieving social mobility;

11. Promote training opportunities for women, with the aim of strengthening leadership skills, managerial competencies, negotiations, advocacy and communication and education in STEM, by focusing on women and girl’s participation, through a comprehensive and integrated approach given their cross-cutting nature and relevance in real-world applications;

12. Emphasize that government ought to have a supportive and well-coordinated policies and programs implemented in ensuring the coveted “gender-responsive budget”;

13. Increase membership and participation of women in national and international fora, to strengthen advocacy on crucial issues such as enhancing education for all women and girls and achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in society.



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Resolution on Ensuring Inclusive Access to Education, Technical Training and Information Technology for Peace and Sustainable Development

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