Resolution on Achieving Gender Equality by Increasing Women’s Participation and Representation

29th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum
13-15 December 2021

Resolution on Achieving Gender Equality by Increasing Women's Participation and Representation

APPF29/RES/13

Draft Resolution Sponsored by: Republic of Korea, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Russian Federation and Vietnam

We, the parliamentarians of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), participating in the 29th Annual Meeting of the APPF held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, under the theme The Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Resilience in the Post-Covid-19 Era:

Recalling the Hanoi Declaration on A New Vision for Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Partnership adopted in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2018, which points out the importance of the increased participation and leadership of women across the political, economic and social spheres,

Reaffirming resolutions on enhancing women’s participation and gender equality, including the Resolution on Promoting Gender Equality for Sustainable Development and Shared Prosperity, Realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (APPF28/RES/05) and the Resolution on Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Decision Making at All Levels (APPF28/RES/07), both of which were adopted in Canberra, Australia, in 2020, and the Resolution on Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Decision Making at All Levels (APPF27/RES/03) adopted in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in 2019,

Recalling the Parliamentary Meeting on the occasion of the 65th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), which called for concrete and bold legislation to enhance women’s political participation and discussed various measures, including transformative steps to enhance the political participation of underrepresented groups such as young women, women with disabilities, and ethnic minority women,

Bearing in mind the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Goal 5 on the commitment to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which was adopted by the 34th Session of the UN General Assembly in 1979 to achieve gender equality and enhance the status of women, as well as other relevant conventions and treaties for realizing gender equality,

Recalling the Resolution on Interaction between the United Nations, National Parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (A/RES/74/304) adopted by the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, which underlined the importance of women’s full, equal, and meaningful participation and leadership,

Bearing in mind UN Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009), 1960 (2010), 2106 (2013), 2122 (2013), 2242 (2015), 2467 (2019) and 2493 (2019) on women, peace and security, which have enshrined the essential role of women in all efforts directed at bringing about and maintaining peace and security,

Recalling the Hanoi Commitment to Action (2020) which recognizes the key roles of women in achieving sustainable peace and development, whether as peacemakers, peacekeepers, peacebuilders, or as responders to crises ; commits to the promotion of gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls, and the realization of their human rights as an integral parts of efforts to maintain international peace and security, prevent conflicts, rebuild societies, and to build and sustain peace,

Noting that 98 UN Member Countries, including a number of states in the Asia-Pacific region, have adopted National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security and recognizing that financial resources required for the implementation of UN resolutions on women, peace and security are not sufficient,

Welcoming the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN adopted at the 31st ASEAN Summit (2017) in the Philippines and the Joint Statement on Promoting the Women, Peace and Security Agenda at the ASEAN Regional Forum adopted at the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (2019) in Thailand,

Acknowledging that women’s meaningful participation, leadership and representation can contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and productivity, politics and cultural growth, peace and security, and the development of humanitarianism in the Asia-Pacific region, which is reflected in the concept of “Helping Women is Helping Oneself,”

Being concerned with the multi-faceted and disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls, deepening gender inequalities and exclusion of women from important decision-making processes, the political and socio-economic status of women, limited access to critical health services, information, job opportunities, education, and protection against violence,

Expressing concern that a rise in remote work and the lack of childcare services in the aftermath of the protracted COVID-19 pandemic have increased care burden on women, further hampering their social and economic participation,

Recognizing the need to use digital technology and develop digital skills among women to further increase women’s participation and representation,

Noting the women's significant underrepresentation in high decision-making positions caused by such barriers as the male-dominated culture, negative gender stereotypes against the role of women, and lack of social support,

Recognizing that despite an increase in the number of women in politics, the proportion of women in national parliaments stood at a mere 24.9% in 2020 and 25.5% in 2021 and that the current political gender gap is expected to take 145.5 years to close,

RESOLVE TO:

  1. Strengthen the parliamentary actions focused on gender-responsive recovery policies and strategies including advocating for, initiating, debating and enacting law reform to support gender equality and women’s representation and counter violence directed at women, especially parliamentarians, so that women can participate equally and meaningfully in all sectors and at all decision-making levels;
  2. Promote the implementation of the SDG 5 on gender equality as well as SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions by facilitating women’s participation in national and regional mechanisms to resolve conflicts, build peace and secure women’s and children’s rights;
  3. Call on APPF Member Countries to create an enabling environment for more women to hold senior, managerial, and decision-making positions in public and private sectors;
  4. Call on the APPF Executive Committee to consider APPF’s own rules and recommend changes to the Plenary Session to ensure female representation on the Executive Committee,
  5. Encourage APPF Member Countries to introduce and strengthen diverse institutional mechanisms to promote political participation, including in parliament, of women from diverse backgrounds, and consider providing financial support in this regard;
  6. Recommend APPF Member Countries to guarantee equal rights and opportunities to work by building support and consensus among both men and women on the importance of work-life balance and creating a conducive environment for women’s participation in the workforce, including through the use of flexible work arrangements and a stronger social support system for care responsibilities;
  7. Reiterate the call on APPF Member Countries to guarantee women’s access to equal and quality education from primary to tertiary levels and opportunities to enjoy its benefits, and also to enhance education and training and provide information and financial support for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) where women are particularly underrepresented;
  8. Encourage APPF Member Countries to organize mentoring activities between women politicians and girls, to nurture confidence and offer guidance, fostering future female leaders with capacity and inspiration.
  9. Encourage APPF Member Countries to increase women’s access to digital information and resources through digital literacy training and expand opportunities for women to participate in the workforce and decision-making processes;
  10. Encourage APPF Member Countries to promote the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security, and adopt, implement, and monitor National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security, to increase the empowerment and engagement of women in line with international commitments, with due consideration of different national contexts and specific needs;
  11. Call on APPF Member Countries to improve the legal documents, policies and agendas to create and expand opportunities for women to contribute to peace and security in the world by ensuring women’s representation and active participation in conflict prevention, crisis management and non-traditional security challenges resolution, creating a solid foundation for transforming economies and for the comprehensive development of women;
  12. Call on APPF Member Countries to exert all diplomatic efforts to contribute to ensuring that the Afghan government protects the human rights of women and guarantees women’s participation in the nation’s development and efforts to build peace and security;
  13. Recommend APPF Member Countries to create and strengthen sessions dedicated for women MPs in major inter-parliamentary meetings and international conferences to promote dialogue and share knowledge and experience among women leaders, including the Eurasian Women’s Forum, which will be held for the fourth time in 2024 in the Russian Federation which all representatives of APPF Member countries are invited; and
  14. Urge the Parliaments of APPF Member Countries to strengthen cooperation, collaboration, and partnership among each other and with other relevant institutions, as well as sharing the lessons learned in achieving gender equality by increasing women’s participation and representations.


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Resolution on Achieving Gender Equality by Increasing Women's Participation and Representation

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