ABOUT ASEAN-BAC WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS WORKING GROUP
The initiative to establish an ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) was announced by Viet Nam at the 6th ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW) Meeting held on 7-8 November 2007 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as part of its proposal to develop a cooperative programme between the ACW and the ASEAN Confederation of Women’s Organizations (ACWO) in addressing poverty. The initiative was welcomed by ASEAN Member States.
The 11th ACW Meeting held on 16-17 October 2012 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, finalized and adopted the Terms of Reference of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network.
The establishment of AWEN is an activity planned in the ACW Work Plan 2011-2015 and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2011-2015.
In April 2014, The Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs of Viet Nam and the ASEAN Secretariat with supports from the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment Project (ACTI)/USAID hosted the Launching Workshop of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurship Network (AWEN) with the participation of the members of AWEN and ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW).
In accordance with the Terms of Reference of AWEN (TOR), after launching the Network, the Coordiation role will be rotated amongst ASEAN Member States with Viet Nam as the Coordinator for the first two-year term. Madame Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, Chairwoman of the Viet Nam Women Entrepreneur Council (VWEC) is the Chairwoman of AWEN for 2014-2016 period.
AWEN is a network of business women in the region, operating to exchange knowledge, experience; develop and propose initiatives to promote economic and trade activities in order to enhance gender equality, empower and strengthen entrepreneurship skills for women in ASEAN Community; create favorable environment for female-led enterprises and support for women entrepreneurship in the region.
The ASEAN-BAC Women Entrepreneurs Working Group was established in 2014 to strengthen ASEAN-BAC’s efforts in promoting women entrepreneurs. Our main policy advocacy is to incorporate women entrepreneurs’ related matters into relevant policies and programmes under the ASEAN economic pillar of cooperation. We recognise that increasingly women contribute and play significant roles in the economies of Southeast Asia and that any economic policies development and changes in ASEAN must take into account the concerns and aspirations of women’s groups particularly women entrepreneurs. We strongly believe that the full inclusion of women entrepreneurs under the economic pillar of ASEAN’s cooperation would further ASEAN’s initiative in realising the economic potential of these economic actors.
The Working Group is the focal point on women-related issues for ASEAN-BAC. Our specific purposes include the following:
- Ensure effective communication and partnership between ASEAN-BAC and women related organisations within and outside ASEAN;
- Serve as a channel for women entrepreneurs to communicate their concerns and aspirations to relevant policy-makers in ASEAN.
- Ensure inclusion of women entrepreneurs in ASEAN-BAC activities including in the two ASEAN-BAC’s premier events namely the ASEAN Business Award and ASEAN Business Investment Summit.
The Working Group is comprises of ASEAN-BAC members that represent the interest of ASEAN women and ensure their inclusion in the economy.
Chairwoman: Ms. Fauziah Dato’Seri Paduka Haji Talib, ASEAN-BAC Brunei Darussalam (2014-present)
Ms. Fauziah Talib is the First Chair of the ASEAN-BAC Women Entrepreneurs Working Group. She has been leading the ASEAN-BAC’s advocacy on the inclusion of women entrepreneurs under ASEAN economic pillar of cooperation. She also champions the inclusion of women entrepreneurs’ agenda at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN-BIS).
- Ms. Lisa DP Haji Ibrahim, ASEAN-BAC Brunei Darussalam
- Ms. Dang Thi Hoang Yen, ASEAN-BAC Viet Nam
- Calendar of events
- Policy recommendations
As the official private sector advisory body in ASEAN, we have put forward some policy recommendations in relation to women entrepreneurs to the ASEAN Leaders, among others, as follows:
(1) Putting women at the centre of economic integration analysis and deliberations in the region. A critical step for ASEAN is to start recognising the inclusion of women entrepreneurs under its economic pillar of cooperation;
(2) ASEAN to carry out a gender-oriented review of its regional economic integration initiatives;
(3) ASEAN, in coordination with other stakeholders, conduct regional economic integration capacity building to promote gender equality in the region;
(4) ASEAN and its Member States to initiate and implement policies to eradicate discrimination against women in society
(5) ASEAN and its Member States to fully implement various commitments they made to improve the well-being and welfare of the region’s women.
1. Ensure effective communication and partnership between ASEAN-BAC and women related organisations within and outside ASEAN;
2. Serve as a channel for women entrepreneurs to communicate their concerns and aspirations to relevant policy-makers in ASEAN.
3. Ensure inclusion of women entrepreneurs in ASEAN-BAC activities including in the two ASEAN-BAC’s premier events namely the ASEAN Business Award and ASEAN Business Investment Summit.