A blog by Helen Yang, following the NGO CSW66 parallel event “Asia Actions in Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment”.
“The Soroptimist International of Truth, Goodness and Beauty in Kaushing has once again organised an NGO CSW66 parallel event featuring “Asia’s Actions in Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment ” on 21st March 2022 at 10:00pm EST. A total of over 600 participants had joined both physical or virtual meeting.
Starting from 2020, women have suffered disproportionately from the pandemic, and which appears not to be easing now. According to the UNDP COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker, Asia has the lowest promotion of women on COVID-19 task forces globally, as well as the lowest percentage gender sensitive measures in 5 regions. Gender perspectives should be on every agenda. Ms. Queena Chang, past governor of SIA Taiwan Region, pointed out: “Our NGO CSW66 event focuses on Asia Actions protecting women’s continuing economic work in the pandemic, as the practices from NGO workers and the dialogue with the public sector, we wish to highlight the importance of Asia’s COVID-19 actions”.
President Maureen Maguire was invited as the honorable guest, and delivered the opening remarks. Five keynote speakers were from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand. They had reported different actions from their own country.
Ms. Kazuko Morita-2021-2022 SIA President reported that Japan has taken huge steps by providing programs such as “Grant Assistance, Outplacement, Recognition of good practices in the company, Entrepreneurial assistance, Workplace Reform Assistance, Promotion to executive managerial positions and additional child-care facilities. She also introduced SIA’s Dream Programs.
Dr. Chaiskram Hiranpruk, PPSEAWA UN ESCAP Main Representative, addressed “how to advance women’s economic empowerment” with eight actions government and financial institutions can take.
Ms. Queen Chang, Past Governor of SIA Taiwan Region reported Taiwan’s actions on reducing the care-giving stress of women during the COVID-19 pandemic. She pointed out Actions from SIA Taiwan Region, including Soroptimist International of Taipei City Club, who donated the medical and epidemic prevention materials to the Taipei Medical Association. Soroptimist International of Taipei Women’s Club started the “Preventive Clothing Donation Campaign”, and Soroptimist International of Hsinchu City Club donated the Video Laryngoscopes as well as Medical and Epidemic Prevention Materials.
Ms. Puan Sri Siew Yong Gnanalingam-Past President of SI South West Pacific stated “In Malaysia, the unemployment rate has risen by 5.3% in May 2020. That left nearly 750,000 of our men and women unemployed and in need of assistance. In response to this, the Malaysian Government announced a sizable Budget 2022 to provide funding for women’s empowerment, including economic empowerment to help boost women’s participation in the economic sector.” She reported SI clubs in Malaysia and two NGOs that focus on economic empowerment of marginalised women.
Ms. Jungmi Lim, Board Director of SIA, reported that as of March 2022, the unemployment rate in the Republic of Korea approached 5% from 3.4% in 2019. In response to this, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family has proposed three major methods to reinforce the weakened economic power of Korean women:
- It expands customised employment and startup support for women to return to their economic activities.
- It is necessary to support the active influx of women into new technologies, promising fields for the future.
- It can be viewed as an expansion of work-life balance support such as child care support services and active working from home.”