2 July 2017 | Brief

International Standards on Women and Work in Southeast Asia

Workplace Gender Equality


This series of briefs details legislative reforms aligned with international standards to promote gender equality in the workplace across Southeast Asia, focusing on Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Vietnam.

The briefs discuss how International Labour Organization conventions, the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, and other frameworks have influenced local laws. They highlight significant legal reforms that support women’s rights in employment, such as equal pay, maternity leave, and protection against discrimination. The insights provide an understanding of each country’s progress toward compliance with global norms and steps to improve women’s economic empowerment.

This series of briefs is published by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at The University of Sydney, commissioned by Investing in Women.


  • Legal reforms in Indonesia strengthen provisions for gender equality, focusing on enhanced support for working mothers and measures against workplace discrimination.
  • The Philippines has integrated gender equality into its legislation, with a focus on protecting women’s workplace rights, including maternity protections and equal employment opportunities.
  • Vietnamese laws have advanced toward gender equality, emphasising equal pay and maternity benefits, showing strong alignment with international standards.
  • Myanmar’s legislative developments stress the protection of women in the workplace and align with international efforts to promote gender equality, despite challenges with enforcement and a high rate of informal employment.

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