(Sponsored by Australia and Indonesia)
We the parliamentarians of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), gathering in Canberra, Australia, for the 28th Annual Meeting of the APPF under the theme Parliamentary Partnerships for 2020 and Beyond:
Bearing in mind that the recognition to equal participation between men and women in all decision-making processes have long been emphasized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1953 Convention on the Political Rights of Women, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);
Taking into account the 135th IPU Resolution on “The Freedom of Women to Participate in Political Processes Fully, Safely, and without Interference: Building Partnership between Men and Women to Achieve this Objective” which noted that impediments to hinder women to participate in decision making processes are male-dominated political culture, negative cultural attitudes and stereotypes regarding the role of women, and lack of support from society which also includes lack of finances and resources;
Referring to the findings about gender gap in the 2018 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index Report, the largest gender disparity currently is on Political Empowerment (77.1%), followed by Economic Participation and Opportunity (41.9%), Health and Survival (4.6%), and Educational Attainment (4.4%);
Recalling the 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th APPF Annual Meeting resolutions on gender equality and empowerment of women and girls to increase the political, economic and social participation of women and to promote gender equality for sustainable development and shared prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region;
Underscoring our commitment on the attainment of the 2030 Goals, more specifically Goal 5 on Gender Equality which focuses on women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leaderships at all levels of decision making in political, economic, and public life;
Emphasising the Bali Declaration, adopted in the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development 2017 in Bali, that the respect for all human rights, including gender equality and women’s empowerment, are among the main prerequisites in ensuring the full and timely achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals;
Recognising the importance of integrated data and statistics for evidence-based policies and programs to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Asia Pacific.
Noting UNESCAP Gender Policy-Data Integration Initiative which focuses on supporting national effort to compile a comprehensive data and statistical data set related to women and gender equality and its usefulness in developing future policy recommendations;
Concerned by the low percentage of women in parliaments, public administrations and private sectors, and the obstacles to women’s participation in decision-making in the region; and
Understanding that women’s participation in political and public life is necessary to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the Asia-Pacific region.
1. Urge the Parliaments of APPF Member Countries to ensure that the national laws and the rules and practices of the government authorities comply with international law and other obligations encouraging women’s participation in decision-making in all levels and sectors;
2. Call upon APPF Member Countries to apply and implement CEDAW 1979, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and other legal frameworks and to develop mechanisms to nominate and appoint women candidates in senior posts and continue collecting and disseminating quantitative and qualitative data on women and men in decision-making at all levels;
3. Encourage Parliaments of APPF Member Countries to consider compiling updated and comprehensive datasets on gender equality and women’s participation at the national levels in order to better generate insights for policy recommendations;
4. Also encourage Asia-Pacific countries to improve access for women and girls to education, innovation and technology; and incorporating a gender equality perspective into all civic education activities;
5. Strongly urge Parliaments of APPF Member Countries to take action to meet the targets and fulfil the pledge set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of leaving no one behind and to ensure that women enjoy a just, equitable, tolerant, open, and socially inclusive world, as part of the commitment on Sustainable Development Goals;
6. Call upon Parliaments of APPF Member Countries to work cooperatively with civil society organisations, especially those concerned with gender equality and women’s empowerment, as part of the monitoring and evaluation of efforts to ensuring the increase of women in leadership in a society;
7. Urge APPF Member Countries to promote women’s leadership through capacity building programs which target, mentor and engage young women in politics, civil society, business, and other sectors, designed to prepare them to be future leaders;
8. Encourage APPF Member Countries to increase the number of women in decision-making positions at all levels of government and within public institutions and ensure the provision of equal opportunity for women and men working across policy areas and government bodies;
9. Encourage APPF Member Countries and political parties thereof to implement measures to attain gender equality at all levels of political representation; and
10. Call upon the APPF Executive Committee to recommend rule changes to the plenary to ensure female representation on the Executive Committee.