Declaration: 2011 High Level Policy Dialogue on Women in the Economy

We, APEC ministers and senior government officials, along with private sector leaders, met in San Francisco, California, September 16, 2011 for the High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy, under the Chairmanship of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In November 2010 in Yokohama, the APEC Leaders recognized that the full potential of women to contribute to the Asia-Pacific regional economy remains untapped. Gender equality is central to economic and social development. Equal opportunity for women and men supports economic growth and helps to reduce poverty. The APEC Leaders therefore expressed their will to work together to improve women’s access to finance, education, training, employment, technology, and health systems by promoting entrepreneurship and greater leadership for women in business and government. In 2011 and beyond, APEC economies will take concrete actions to realize the full potential of women, integrate them more fully into APEC economies, harness their talents, remove barriers that restrict women’s full economic participation, and maximize their contributions towards economic growth. Evidence from both developed and developing economies has shown that increased participation of women will generate faster and more equitable income growth, create greater business opportunities, and enhance competitiveness for firms and economies by facilitating innovative thinking and fuller use of a significant resource. Moreover, higher incomes for women have proven to have significant positive impact on health and education outcomes for households, improving overall welfare and bolstering future gains in productivity and inclusive growth. We recognize the benefits healthcare and education services provide to women’s engagement in the economy. Actions to support women’s economic empowerment should be a core component in implementing the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy.

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