"Women’s Empowerment through the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy"
7 September 2022, Bangkok, Thailand (Hybrid)
The meeting expressed its concern over the widening gap and rising inequality for women and underlined the urgent need to step up efforts to empower them, promote their meaningful participation in the economy, and improve their livelihoods. In this regard, views were expressed that an environment that is enabling and conducive for women to thrive is essential to advancing inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the region. In addition, the meeting also emphasized the need to prevent and eliminate all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination against women and girls of diverse backgrounds, particularly those in vulnerable situations, as well as to promote healthy relationships and address the underlying risk factors of gender-based violence.
In response to the current inequalities and challenges, the implementation of the La Sarena Roadmap for Women and Inclusive Growth (The Roadmap) was once again emphasized. In line with the Roadmap’s key action areas, a commitment was made to promote women’s economic empowerment through providing access to capital and markets; strengthening women’s labor force participation; improving women’s access to leadership positions in all levels of decision-making; supporting the prioritization of and access to inclusive and quality education, training and skills development for girls and women; and advancing women’s economic empowerment through the collection and analysis of high-quality, timely, and reliable sex-disaggregated data.
In order to achieve a more sustainable and resilient economy, the host Thailand introduced the Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economy model as a method to promote women’s economic participation and empowerment in the post-pandemic society. The BCG Economy model integrates and synergizes three economic approaches, where technology and innovation are used to create value, reduce waste, and promote a sustainable business model. It is recognized that many of the most vulnerable populations, such as Indigenous women, women with disabilities, and those living in remote or rural areas often bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of climate change, marine debris, unrecycled waste, and unequal impacts of energy access. However, women and girls can develop meaningful, effective, and relevant solutions to advance the BCG economy model and the full, equal, and meaningful participation and leadership of women at all levels of decision-making. Ensuring the participation of women and girls in the aforementioned areas is critical for making the development of environmental sustainability and recovery efforts more effective.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented enormous challenges for many people, it has also transformed the way in which people work and do business, unlocking new prospects for some women like the BCG or digital economy. With this development in mind, it is more important now than ever to reduce the digital gender divide to prevent gender inequalities to continue increasing.
Finally, we recognize the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on women and girls of diverse backgrounds, exacerbating existing gender inequality in several domains. In order to sustainably recover from the effects pandemic, it is important to incorporate gender equality and women’s economic participation in recovery strategies. To achieve this, it is of utmost importance to ensure gender mainstreaming through women’s full, equal, and meaningful representation in leadership at all levels and decision-making in the recovery process as well as removing barriers that continue to prevent women and girls of diverse backgrounds from being fully empowered to participate in and benefit from recovery opportunities and prospects.
(Economies were unable to come to a consensus on certain paragraphs of the statement, therefore, unlike previous years, only a chair’s statement was released in 2022.)