Much effort has been made to integrate women in the economy, but gender gaps in labor force participation, job quality and income remain significant challenges. In the past 15 years, the female labor force participation rate in the APEC region decreased from 63.1 percent in 1990 to 59.4 per cent in 2015. Significant numbers of women in the APEC and other regions are still employed in sectors that are characterized by low status and pay, informality, job insecurity, workplace hazards and limited access to social protections, training and career opportunities. The high proportion of young women transitioning from school to the informal economy in many developing economies remains a matter of concern.
To contribute to multilateral responses to these issues, Australia is arranging a two-day cross-fora workshop on strategies to improve quality employment among low-skilled women. Experts from APEC economies, business, academia, labor, international and non-government organizations will share views on what works and explore new ideas for gender employment policies and programs. The focus will be on women in the informal sector and good practices concerning access to education and training, quality employment opportunities and services. The workshop will also explore strategies for assisting new entrants to the labor force through school-to-work transition programs targeting young women.
The project supports the call by the HRD Ministerial Action Plan (2015-2018) for initiatives that will enhance “the role of women in the workforce by identifying, developing and promoting successful workplace strategies and programs...” It is also consistent with the Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy Strategic Plan 2015-2018 and commitment by APEC Leaders in 2015 “to advancing women’s full participation in the economy in concrete, actionable, and measureable ways…”
Date and Venue: The workshop will be held on 6-7 March 2017 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Bangkok with the support of the International Labour Organization Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. A synthesis report will be prepared and workshop materials circulated broadly. Australia will meet accommodation and travel costs for up to two representatives from ODA eligible economies.
 StatsAPEC: http://statistics.apec.org/index.php/apec_psu/index