Women in ASEAN in the Era of Digitalisation: Facing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities
The celebration of Women’s Month this year resonated deeply with the priorities and commitments of ASEAN to forge ahead with gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. In the Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) to ASEAN, we celebrated Women’s Month by citing that parity has been achieved with 50 per cent of current membership now being women.
The ASEAN region has made progress in many sectors, but challenges remain, especially in the area of girls’ and women’s access to health and education.
Meryana (not her real name) is a 12-year old girl from Noinbila, a small village in South Central Timor Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. This year, she had to give up on her dream of going to junior high school. Due to economic hardships exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, her parents could only send one of their children to school, Meryana’s older brother, Ronald (not his real name).
The 2022 ASEAN SDG Snapshot Report highlighted ASEAN’s progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the pandemic, the region is likely to fall short on Goal 1 on ending poverty and Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth.
For over 60 years, rapid development has taken place in the ASEAN and Malaysian communities. Six decades is a long time, and a variety of social changes have taken place during that period. Development is aimed at upgrading or elevating the life status of communities towards that of developed countries in the aspects of health, economy, urbanisation, and formal education. However, behind this developmental progress is the impact of the changes on the lives and well-being of older people.
Shiela May Pansoy, a 39-year-old native of Davao del Sur, is one of the 37,000 women in the Philippine police force.
One night in 2019, Shinta Puspa Dewi found herself hiding under the bed as her patient yelled, “Hide, or they will shoot you!”. Her patient, who has dementia, believed they were in the middle of a war.
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