Brunei Darussalam, ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Pillar Chair 2021, attends G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment

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26 August 2021

Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd.) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Chair of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Pillar for 2021, attended the G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment, as an invited guest of the Republic of Italy, which holds the G20 Presidency this year. The meeting, which was held in a hybrid format (physical and virtual), was chaired by Her Excellency Elena Bonetti, Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family of the Republic of Italy and attended by Ministers responsible for women affairs from G20 members and guest countries, high-level representatives and delegations from institutions, international organizations, as well as G20 engagement groups and social partners.

The Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment was the first event of its kind to be organized in the G20 System, intended to highlight the quality of women’s role in society and the implementation of policies aimed at increasing women’s participation in the public and private spheres as well as the protection of their rights and from gender-based violence. The conference would not only serve as a platform to promote synergetic actions and shared commitments by systematizing and organizing the many references to gender equality and women's empowerment that emerge from the G20, but would also ensure policy coherence and coordination across a wide spectrum of institutions and partners. The two thematic areas discussed namely i) STEM, Financial and Digital Literacy, Environment and Sustainability; and ii) Labour and Economic Empowerment and Work-Life Balance.

During the conference, Yang Berhormat Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports shared ASEAN’s 2021 theme of “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”, amongst others, reiterating ASEAN’s mission towards gender equality, and the empowerment of all women and girls in every aspect of life. While facing the impacts of Pandemic COVID19, ASEAN continues to ensure that the rights and opportunities of all women and girls, especially the most vulnerable, are protected. He also shared ASEAN's commitment to the ASEAN Declaration on Gender Responsive Implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the ASEAN Action Agenda on Women’s Economic Empowerment.

Yang Berhormat Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports also shared a few of ASEAN’s initiatives:

a. By tapping on the growing dynamism in the digital economy, ASEAN is accelerating progress in mainstreaming women’s economic empowerment through innovation, trade and inclusive business. This includes maximizing technology and the digital space for education and upskilling amongst women, especially in trade and business.;

b. The ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plan acknowledges that women and girls are among those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Thus, ASEAN’s recovery efforts and decisions are also complemented by information and data through the ASEAN Gender Outlook 2020 report as well as the first ASEAN Regional Study on Women, Peace and Security. ASEAN remains steadfast in generating gender data and statistics to overcome inequalities and barriers to women’s empowerment;

c. In parallel efforts, ASEAN continues to enhance its social protection, leaving no one behind. Brunei Darussalam as Chair of ASEAN is championing the development of the ASEAN Comprehensive Framework on Care Economy to address current and future needs arising from demographic change, inequalities, and sustainable development challenges. This is expected to drive progress on women’s empowerment, by addressing the gender divide in care work that bars most women and girls from developing their fullest potentials and abilities;

d. As a way forward, ASEAN is working to develop the ASEAN Master Plan on Women’s Development. This will fuse various initiatives related to women’s development to foster synergy and cooperation, thus ensuring a more cohesive and comprehensive framework in promoting overall equality and empowerment of women and girls in the region.

Also present were Dayang Hajah Nor Ashikin binti Haji Johari, Permanent Secretary (Community and Culture) and senior officials from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.


Source: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was founded on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined ASEAN on 7 January 1984