17 October 2018 | News/Stories

Women’s economic empowerment in spotlight in two economic conferences

In a bid to encourage economists to bridge the gender gap within their ranks and incorporate gender into their economic research in South East Asia, Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, is engaging economic associations in the region in two major conferences in November.

As a major sponsor of the 56th Philippine Economic Society (PES) Annual Meeting and Conference on 8 November, Investing in Women is organising a breakout session. On 9 November, it will lead a plenary session at the 43rd Federation of ASEAN Economic Associations (FAEA) Conference.

The engagements, both in Manila, will mark the first time that full sessions will be dedicated to issues on workplace gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in both conferences.

“We hope that by bringing the issues of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment to the fore, we can encourage economists to look more closely into and help accelerate progress in these areas that are crucial to inclusive economic growth,” Investing in Women Advocacy and Communications Director Donna-Jean Nicholson said.

Economists can play a crucial role as policymakers globally yet there is evidence that the lack of female representation among economists impacts policy decisions. Studies suggest that where female economists see opportunity gaps, male economists see a divergence in choices.

“Economic policies frequently have different implications for women compared to men. These differences need to be recognised and considered,” Ms Nicholson added.

What to expect from the conferences

The breakout session at the PES Conference asks: “Where Are the Women in the Philippines’ High Growth Economy?” It will feature three new studies on gender equality issues in the labour force, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and leadership in both government and the private sector.

Philippine National Anti-Poverty Commission researchers Raymundo Addun and Nikkin Beronilla will present results of a statistical analysis exploring potential gender discrimination based on non-labour force participation, non-labour income, age, education, having young children and location.

Maribel Daño-Luna and Rose Ann Camille Caliso, both from the Asian Institute of Management, will share a study that explores factors on the growth of women-owned SMEs, including obstacles and enablers, gender gaps, and policy factors, based on a survey in Metro Manila and Calabarzon.

The University of the Philippines’ Dr Clarissa David and Philippines Institute of Development Studies research analyst Jana Flor Vizmanos will talk about their findings on factors affecting women’s participation in leadership and their impact on the broader work of gender equality.

At the FAEA Conference, the question on the role of women in the economy will be expanded to the ASEAN context during a panel discussion about the gender pay gap and policy-setting for women’s workforce participation. Dr Julia Newton-Howes, Investing in Women CEO, will moderate.

Panelists will include Dr Dynah Basuil, Associate Professor at the Asian Institute of Management, and Rachel Lloyd, Assistant Secretary responsible for Taxation, Financial Sector and Employment at the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The 56th PES Annual Meeting and Conference and the 43rd FAEA Conference will be held at Novotel Manila in Cubao, Quezon City. Interested participants may register through this link. For more details, you may visit this site or email the organisers at pes.eaea@gmail.com.

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