The Women and the Economy Summit opened Wednesday, September 14 at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, brought together hundreds of private sector leaders and goverment officials to discussion about women issues in the Asia-Pacific region. On Friday, September 16, the Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton , who chaired the first-ever Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) High-Level policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy, delievered the speach in which she made the evidence-based case for inclusion of women as vital source of economic growth. The Secretary articulated important steps in a path toward the Participation Age- where every individual has the opportunity to be a contribuiting and valued member of the global market – including strategies to remove barriers that have prevent women from being full participants in the economy and unlock their potential drivers of economic growth. In her remarks, she outlined a vision for a fundamental transformation of our economies and called for more and better data to measure our results and drive our policy-making. The Secretary challenged the leaders of APEC to take concrete steps, including these outlined in the San Francisco Declaration, which will be delievered to the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu in November:
- Promoting greater access to financial services for women entrepreneurs;
- Improving women’s access to markets by identifying networks and associations that can assist women to access business connections and distribution channels;
- Encouraging the empowerment of women and removing discriminatory practices that inhibit women’s capacity and ability to build their skills; and
- Working to support the rise of women leaders—in both the public and private sectors.
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