APEC Women and the Economy Summit

September 13 -16 in San Francisco, California 2011

– The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Women and the Economy Summit (WES) is the premier event bringing together senior private and public sector players for a dialogue on fostering women’s economic empowerment among the APEC economies.

– The WES has three components:  public-private meetings on key issues for women’s empowerment; the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE), and the High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Women and the Economy.
– The Policy Dialogue of the Summit is expected to support a set of policy recommendations that will be delivered to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, scheduled for November 12-13, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Summit Themes:

Access to Capital

Access to Markets

Skills and Capacity Building

Women’s Leadership

Summit Topics Include:

Creating empowering environments

Financial inclusion for women-owned business

Women and green jobs

Public/private partnerships that empower women

Fostering women entrepreneurs and small-businesses

Closing the gap in the world of information and technology

The new wave: fostering innovation

Girls to women: developing young leaders

The Australian Delegation consisted of Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd,  accompanied by a senior delegation of Australian women – Australia’s newly appointed Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams, Leah Armstrong, Reconciliation Australia, CNBC Anchor, Amanda Drury, Judith van Unen, JERA International, Linda Brown, Swinburne University, Melanie O’Toole IWFCC, Lynette Mayne, Work Wear World, Yolanda Vega WCCCI, Patrice Braun, Ballarat University and representatives of AusTRADE, DFaT and DIISR.

The goals of WES are:

-To pursue concrete policy recommendations through PPWE and HLPD and projects to increase women’s economic participation and drive economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region; and
-To present a program that is aspirational, inspirational and practical.

Issues discussed included:

-The policy framework for discussion will encompass four issues: access to finance, access to markets, capacity and skills building, and women’s leadership.
-To complement the proposed policy framework, the WES will also address innovation, green growth, technology, entrepreneurship, and public-private partnerships.

Attending WES

-This event is designed for private sector leaders representing multinational corporations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), academia and civil society as well as for senior government officials responsible for setting international, economic, trade, and SME policies.

Australia has its first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls.

The Federal Government has appointed career  diplomat Penny Williams to help advocate for the rights of women and girls, eradicate domestic violence, empower women and increase their representation in leadership roles.

A few days after her appointment, Ms Williams attended the APEC WES high level meeting with Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and met with US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton and US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer.

APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy

The APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) is what United States has proposed to combine the strength of the Gender Focal Point Network (GFPN), an official APEC sub-forum, and the private sector-oriented Women Leaders Network (WLN). It was agreed upon at the Senior Officials Meeting on May 18, 2011 in Big Sky, Montana.
– The PPWE will elevate and streamline gender work in APEC to champion the economic empowerment of women and to deepen public and private sector cooperation in this effort.
– The PPWE will draft policy recommendations which will be discussed at the High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Women and the Economy.


High-Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy

– As a part of WES, the United States hosted the High-Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Women and the Economy on September 16 in San Francisco for high-ranking officials, responsible for a broader spectrum of economic policies and for private sector leaders from business, academia or civil society in their respective economies to discuss issues on women’s empowerment.
– The Policy Dialogue discussed and developed a set of policy recommendations to Leaders about how APEC can take concrete actions to enhance economic participation of women.
– The United States has proposed to create the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) under which the recommendations will be drafted.

Participation in the HLPD on Women and the Economy

– Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, as the head of U.S. delegation to the Policy Dialogue, issued letters of invitation to her counterparts in APEC economies.
– Senior government officials responsible for economic and commercial policies, as well as representatives from the private sector were invited by government to join the dialogue.

How the PPWE will be sustained going forward

– The APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) Management Council will be created to maintain the continuity of the efforts under PPWE.
– The core members of the Council will be the chair, who will be members from the current host economy, and the co-chairs, who will represent the previous host economy and the future host economy. The chair and co-chairs, who will be government officials, will use the Management Council to guide the efforts of the PPWE.
– The chair and co-chairs may invite private sector participants from their economies to serve as advisors. Interested members from other economies and APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) would also be invited to join the discussion at the PPWE Management Council.

APEC Women and the Economy (WES) Declaration

“But our declaration will be meaningless if we don’t put our will and effort behind it. I think this summit just might make the history books if people look back in years to come and say, that meeting in San Francisco with all of those important people from across the Asia Pacific said something that had never been said before. They didn’t just assert that involving women was the good thing to do or the right thing to do. They put their heads together and came up with a declaration committing themselves to really tackle the obstacles, because it will benefit the people we all represent.” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,  at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Summit

Click here for the APEC WES Declaration

Click here for Hilary Clinton’s address and video of presentation

Click here for speeches and media releases

Empowering women in the new economy

The APEC Women and the Economy Summit (WES) aims to look at how to further empower women to better themselves, their families and society. The Summit, held in conjunction with the third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM3) in San Francisco in mid-September, will host senior-level representatives from the private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations, innovators and entrepreneurs.