Leni: ASEAN integration good for women
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - November 7, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo is looking forward to the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), saying this will provide more opportunities for women in the region.

“ASEAN integration is good for women,” Robredo said in her speech at the opening of the 1st Southeast Asia Women’s Summit held at Miriam College in Quezon City.

Robredo said the 10-member regional bloc focuses on micro, small and medium enterprises as a tool for inclusive growth, thereby providing opportunities for women in agribusiness, tourism, services and other sectors.

The ASEAN economic integration offers Filipinos opportunity for more jobs locally.

One of the goals of the ASEAN Economic Community is to decrease unemployment and underemployment in all member-states. 

“We need to take advantage of the opportunities created by the ASEAN Economic Community by making sure that our workers are ready. When we do, our people, especially our women, will not be left behind; instead, they will be equipped with competencies that are in line with the demands of the international labor market,” Robredo said.

Citing global studies, the Vice President said $12 trillion will be added to global gross domestic product by 2025 if women achieve equality in the workplace.

Robredo also noted that over the past 50 years, there has been a determined effort to empower women in the ASEAN.

She cited the inclusion of human rights in its Charter and the establishment in 2010 of human rights mechanisms such as the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights and the ASEAN Committee of Labor and Migration.

“These are increasingly important now, in light of reports of heightened abduction and trafficking of women along the borders of China, and women as victims of conflict and terror,” Robredo said.

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