In depth

Gender equality in Asia and the Pacific

Currently, the Asia-Pacific region’s record on gender equality remains unsatisfactory despite progress in key areas in some countries. The labor force participation has not reached gender parity in the region, with two thirds of the countries where data was collected reporting 60% or below female labour force participation.  

Deep-rooted structural inequalities and discriminatory gender stereotypes continue to limit women’s full and equal participation in the social, economic and political sphere. Women are underrepresented in decision-making processes - from household to community, to national parliament and peace-making processes. In Asia-Pacific region, less than one in five parliamentarians are women.

It is estimated that by accelerating the progress towards gender equality, countries in the region could add $4.5 trillion to their collective annual GDP by 2025. Data and evidence show that including women in economic activities will benefit not only individual women but their households, communities and economies. Gender equality needs to be addressed as a priority by countries across the Asia Pacific region for accelerating inclusive and sustainable growth.

UNDP in Asia and the Pacific supports national and regional efforts to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. UNDP is committed to strengthening its engagement with national and regional partners to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and ensure no one is left behind by integrating gender equality perspectives in all development interventions.