ASEAN calls for enhancing women’s role amid pandemic

HANOI, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) — The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) late Thursday convened the first-ever ASEAN Women Leader’s summit via video link, discussing women’s role in the bloc’s development amid COVID-19.

The event, held within the framework of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related summits, offered the group’s leaders a chance to talk with female leaders in the region and at international organizations about how to further uphold their role in the process of building the ASEAN Community following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc described women as an indispensable part of the process of building peace and sustainable security.

The Vietnamese leader wished that the summit would offer important orientations to help ASEAN women contribute more widely and effectively to the process of building the ASEAN Community as well as actively join efforts to ensure peace, security, as well as sustainable and inclusive development in the region.

At the event, Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan called for ensuring legitimate economic and health benefits for women via effective and timely measures. ASEAN needs to put women into the focus of reconstruction and recovery, enhance women’s leadership and voices in decision-making, and increase their economic status to narrow the development gap and strengthen ASEAN Community’s resilience against external shocks, Ngan said.

She called on ASEAN to take new, creative and effective approaches to uphold women’s role in every aspect, especially in terms of the benefits from digital technology.

Ngan also announced that Vietnam will hold the ASEAN High-level Forum on women’s role in comprehensive and sustainable recovery next year.

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