October 19, 1998
FRY WELCOMES GENDER BREAKTHROUGH IN APEC
MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- The Honourable Hedy Fry, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism) (Status of Women), welcomed the breakthrough agreement announced at the conclusion of the first-ever Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting on Women. Ministers called on Leaders to guarantee women a central place in the economy, and in restoring prosperity to the region.
The Joint Ministerial Statement, released Friday, calls for the collection of sex-disaggregated data and gender impact analysis for effective policy development in APEC; the increased involvement of women in all bodies and all levels of APEC; and, the accelerated integration of women in APEC processes and activities. It also highlighted the impact of the financial and economic crisis on women, and the important role they must play in economic recovery. The Statement will be forwarded to APEC Leaders for their annual meeting, November 17 to 18, 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"Canada has been a leading proponent of advancing a gender perspective in the APEC agenda," said Dr. Fry. "Let us not forget that women make up over 50 percent of the population. Yet, they are the most underutilized intellectual and economic resource. If we do not consider the concerns and contributions of half the region's population, economic growth and sustainable development will remain elusive goals."
Dr. Fry stressed the importance of improving and supporting women's economic autonomy, particularly in view of the growth of the knowledge-based economy and the global financial crisis. She also highlighted Canada's successes and challenges with respect to women in small and medium enterprises; women in industrial science and technology; and women in human resource development.
"The creation of an Ad Hoc Task Force on the Integration of Women in APEC, recommended to Leaders at this meeting, would be a breakthrough for the women of the region," concluded Dr. Fry.
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