In collaboration with the Institute of Foreign Affairs (IFA) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and The Habibie Center (THC), the U.S. government sponsored a workshop on February 25, 2016 on “Women Empowerment and Gender Equality in the ASEAN Economic Community” at Vientiane Plaza Hotel in Vientiane, Lao PDR .
Women constitute more than half of 625 million people in ASEAN and they play critical roles in all aspects of socio-cultural, political, and economic development in the ASEAN region. Women’s economic empowerment is a key driver of national, regional and global poverty eradication and shared prosperity. This event aims to promote a more inclusive ASEAN, by strengthening women’s empowerment and gender quality in the region in order to achieve ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
Miki Scheidel, Representative from the U.S. Embassy Vientiane stated during her opening remarks at the workshop: “We realize that there is a lot of work required and challenges to be addressed, however as we work together in partnership through events like the one today, I believe that our shared goals and common vision of a prosperous, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community can be successfully achieved”.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided more than 120,000 USD in support of a series of activities including discussions, research, and visits on a range of issues in order to contribute to the ASEAN integration process through ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS project.