ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW)

ASEAN leaders recognise and reaffirm the importance of women and their participation in development. ASEAN Member Countries have been supportive of efforts to promote the status of women and have participated actively in the regional and international arena pertaining to womenโ€™s advancement.

Efforts towards establishing an ASEAN involvement, as a region, in womenโ€™s issues began during the ASEAN Women Leadersโ€™ Conference held in 1975. The ASEAN Sub-Committee on Women (ASW) was established in 1976 and was renamed the ASEAN Womenโ€™s Programme (AWP) in 1981. To give a fresh impetus to the on-going ASEAN cooperation on womenโ€™s issues, this sectoral body was restructured into the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) in 2002. The coordination and monitoring of the implementation of ASEANโ€™s key regional priorities and cooperation in womenโ€™s issues and concerns are carried out by the ACW which meets regularly every year.

The recognition of women in ASEAN and the commitment to the advancement of women are clearly reflected in the Declaration on the Advancement of Women in ASEAN which was adopted by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in 1988. The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the ASEAN Region, adopted by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in 2004, is the second declaration recognising important concerns for women. It also marks the first time that all ten ASEAN Member Countries are committed to this cause at the regional level.

ASEAN cooperation on women is guided by two operational documents:

The strong link in government and non-government partnerships is illustrated in, among others, the close partnership between the ACW and the ASEAN Confederation on Womenโ€™s Organisations (ACWO). The ACW has also established close partnerships with a number of key international organisations in working for gender equality and advancement, and eliminating violence and discrimination against women. These organisations include CIDA, UNDP and UNIFEM and a framework of cooperation was signed with UNIFEM in 1996.

ASEAN Member Countries have achieved various accomplishments in addressing womenโ€™s issues. The ACW has convened different regional workshops, seminars, training sessions and consultative meetings that provided platforms for government officials, civil society organisations, professionals and other stakeholders to exchange views, share experiences and build commitments and a common understanding on various gender issues.

The ASEAN-High Level Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming within the Context of CEDAW, BPFA and the MDGs which was held in November 2006 is the most prominent example. During the High Level Meeting, the Joint Statement and Commitment to Implement Gender Mainstreaming was adopted.

Various publications and periodic regional reports were also produced. These include:


Email from: Ms. Wahyuningrum (Yuyun)

When: 7/2/2014

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