Research shows that the more girls and women are educated and join the workforce, the more economies grow, infant mortality falls, and communities improve. To this end, the U.S. Mission to ASEAN has partnered with ASEAN to empower women in the region.
- The U.S. Mission to ASEAN supported the launch of the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN), which aims to improve business skills, support better access to financing, help women start new businesses, and link regional and international women’s entrepreneur networks.
- The ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology and the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, awards an annual ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women to a promising, ASEAN-based, early-career woman scientist, to support efforts to advance regional science and technology and to promote active collaboration in technical and scientific fields.
- The United States supports the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) by strengthening ACWC as an institution, supporting the development of a network of social service agencies, developing the Regional Guidelines and Procedures to Address the Needs of Trafficking in Persons Victims, and helping to harmonize regional approaches to addressing violence against women and children.
- Since October 2016, the U.S.-ASEAN Women’s Leadership Academy for YSEALI (Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative) has gathered young women leaders for a week-long workshop for capacity building, mentoring, and networking around specific themes, such as economic development. The academy is designed to advance U.S. and ASEAN interests, empowering women and girls by developing future women leaders within ASEAN, while helping to realize the shared goal of an integrated, dynamic, and more competitive ASEAN Economic Community. Gathering young, emerging women leaders within ASEAN and now Timor-Leste, from all sectors of society, the academy equips them with the skills and capacity necessary to lead ASEAN in the future, and enhances the U.S. – ASEAN Strategic Partnership.
- Through the ASEAN-USAID Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Trade, and E-Commerce (IGNITE) project, the U.S. government supports gender mainstreaming in the ASEAN Economic Community, with a focus on trade facilitation; the digital economy; and science, technology, and innovation.