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Media kit: Women and the Economy Forum

The APEC Women and the Economy Forum will bring together ministers and senior leaders on 24 September to discuss and advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment across the APEC region.

This year’s Women and the Economy Forum is set against a unique and devastating backdrop – COVID-19. A report by McKinsey & Company suggests that women make up 39 percent of global employment, yet account for 54 percent of overall job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The disproportionate impact of the pandemic has made it clear that our economies are currently not resilient or inclusive enough. This year’s forum presents a unique opportunity to ensure we rebuild our economies to be more inclusive, locking in the work APEC has set out to achieve in the La Serena Roadmap.

The La Serena Roadmap was developed in 2019 to provide concrete direction and to catalyse policy actions across APEC to drive “greater inclusive economic development and participation of women in the Asia-Pacific”. The Roadmap runs to 2030 and contains defined action areas and targets ranging from laws and policies to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex to improving the region’s gender balance in leadership positions.

Importantly, the Women and the Economy Forum will culminate in a Ministerial statement which, amongst other things, underscores the need to accelerate women’s economic empowerment efforts to aid the in COVID-19 recovery, and highlights important steps being taken across the region.

This media kit provides background information and supporting media materials for the Women and the Economy Forum.

The APEC New Zealand media team is committed to providing you with access to everything you need to cover APEC 2021 remotely, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or requests.

Contacting the media team

Media registration enquiries:

All other media enquiries, including interview requests:

Official APEC 2021 channels


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APEC Secretariat channels


APEC 2021 media registration

APEC 2021 accredited media

Media who have already completed the APEC 2021 accreditation process will automatically receive all media materials related to the Women and the Economy Forum.

New media registrations

All media who are part of an APEC media delegation must be registered by their economy’s Media Accreditation Officer, via the APEC 2021 Registration Portal.

If you are not part of an APEC media delegation, not already accredited for APEC 2021, and wish to register as a media delegate, you will need to apply by emailing We will need the following information:

  • Title (Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Dame/Sir/Dr/Prof)
  • First name and surname
  • Gender (male/female/gender diverse)
  • Email address
  • Mobile phone number, including international dialling code (for example +64). This will be used to receive a secure two-factor authentication code to log into the APEC 2021 virtual meeting platform
  • Media organisation
  • Job title
  • A photo of your business/press card; or an email/letter confirming your employment.

For assistance with the registration process at any stage, please contact

Women and the Economy media materials

After the Women and the Economy Forum, accredited media will receive:

  • Post-meeting media release
  • Ministers’ joint statement
  • Chair’s opening remarks (video recording)
  • Official Women and the Economy family photo
  • B-roll footage and images of the meeting under way

What happens at the Women and the Economy Forum?

The annual Women in the Economy Forum will bring together ministers and senior leaders to discuss and advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment across the APEC region.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have disproportionate impacts on women and girls in the APEC region and around the world. Unless strong action is taken, these impacs risk setting back years of hard won progress.

This year’s forum will focus on the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as embedding longer-term structural changes to improve women’s participation and resilience in the formal economy. The commitments and decisions made now can lay the foundation for a stronger future for women and girls, and a more resilient, inclusive economy.

In 2019, APEC agreed a roadmap to provide concrete direction to drive “greater inclusive economic development and participation of women in the Asia-Pacific”.  A recent implementation report details a large number of actions underway across APEC fora to achieve the Roadmap’s objectives. This year’s forum will be a chance to drive further action and ensure the full range of objectives under the roadmap are progressed.

Efforts across APEC to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment align with, and advance, the Putrajaya Vision 2040. The Putrajaya Vision replaces the previous Bogor Goals, which guided APEC’s work up to 2020, and outlines a vision of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community, for the prosperity of all people and future generations.

APEC’s work on Women’s Economic Empowerment

For the last two decades, women’s economic empowerment has been a key pillar of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s (APEC) work. The adoption of the La Serena Roadmap in 2019 provided APEC with concrete direction for this work.

As economic growth around the region has slowed, economies have looked to groups with ‘untapped economic potential’ – people who have faced barriers to full economic participation – to provide the energy and vision for future growth.

Women can, and do, make vital contributions to our economies, and by enabling them to successfully participate, everybody stands to gain. Advancing women’s economic empowerment is not only the right thing to do, it also offers tremendous economic potential. The impact COVID-19 has wrought on the regional economy as a whole, and on women’s economic realities, in particular, has only made this work more urgent.

A key focus of APEC’s inclusion work has been addressing bariers that hold back women’s full economic participation, such as who has access to credit to purchase goods or open a business, or a person’s gender dictating where they can, and cannot, work.

Data plays a critical role in identifying barriers and informing effective responses to advance gender euality and women’s economic empowerment. APEC has developed a dashboard that is being heralded as a game changer for policy makers, researchers and civil society.

Drawing on data from the UN, World Bank, WEF, OECD, WHO, and more, the dashboard helps build a more visible and evidence-based picture of women’s lives.

Findings on the 21 APEC economies from the most recent dashboard include:

  • nine have laws against discrimination by lenders based on gender
  • seven have laws against discrimination by creditors based on marital status
  • 18 penalise or prevent dismissal of pregnant women
  • two consider family status an illegal job interview question
  • eight have laws mandating equal pay for men and women doing work of equal value.

For more information about the 2021 dashboard:

2021 is an important moment in time as New Zealand steps up as host to promote a gender-responsive recovery and ensures the important work outlined in the La Serena Roadmap is not derailed by the pandemic.

APEC 2021 policy priorities

New Zealand’s three policy priorities for APEC 2021 are shaped by the COVID-19 crisis and focus on bringing the region together for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery.

There has been considerable progress made on these policy priorities this year, most significantly at the Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting where ministers agreed to take actions to improve the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and to reduce harmful fossil fuels and fisheries subsidies.

Our efforts to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment align with this vision for inclusive growth. The Women and the Economy Forum provides invaluable opportunities for APEC members to share knowledge and drive change, to make a difference for women and girls and for their economies.

1. Economic and trade policies to strengthen recovery

This priority focuses on APEC’s economic response to COVID-19. It is about encouraging trade and economic policies, including macro-economic and microeconomic responses that will help the region bounce back as quickly as possible.

For 30 years, APEC has stood for open trade and it is critically important that markets remain open, which is reflected in APEC’s renewed efforts to rebuild confidence in the multilateral trading system and the WTO this year.

Progress under New Zealand’s leadership has already seen APEC economies agree to speed the cross-border flow of vaccines; economic reforms to kick-start growth, create new jobs and help combat climate change; and agree a programme of work on sending a strong signal on our shared commitment to the WTO.

2. Increasing inclusion and sustainability for recovery

This priority acknowledges the need for APEC’s long-term response to COVID-19 to be sustainable and inclusive of all people. It is about enhancing the participation of groups such as women and indigenous people in the economy, and ensuring their contributions are valued. It will also ensure the region’s recovery can be used to improve sustainability outcomes, including in the area of climate change.

Building from the Putrajaya Vision 2040, now is clearly the moment for APEC to design economic incentives that respond to the region’s environmental challenges. There is an opportunity for APEC to take its work on environmentally harmful subsidies further and also support the liberalisation of goods and services that support a sustainable recovery.

Progress under New Zealand’s leadership has already laid the groundwork for a voluntary standstill on fossil subsidies; a programme to update APEC’s List of Environmental Goods; and work to ensure the indigenous economy is of relevance to APEC.

3. Pursuing innovation, and a digitally enabled recovery

The final priority focuses on accelerating APEC's work in support of the digital economy. The pandemic has dramatically accelerated digital transformation across trade, commerce, and the provision of public services, including healthcare services. 

 Just as APEC has successfully embraced virtual hosting, economies must come together to advance the Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap with a view to enhancing inclusion, driving the adoption of green technology and supporting a vital pathway to lifting regional economic growth.

Progress under New Zealand’s leadership already includes locking in digital and paperless customs procedures; agreement to explore initiatives that facilitate solutions to travelling under COVID-19 conditions; and agreement to progress the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap to promote inclusion and green technology.

Putrajaya Vision 2040: The implementation plan

With the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 agreed in 2020, APEC economies are now working towards a detailed plan of action to make the vision a reality. This plan will be a key document in setting and monitoring APEC’s agenda for the next 20 years.

The implementation plan will expand on the three economic drivers of growth agreed to by the region in the Putrajaya Vision 2040: trade and investment; innovation and digitisation; strong, balanced, secure, sustainable and inclusive growth. The implementation plan is APEC’s most important task for the year, and a core focus for New Zealand as host.

Putrajaya Vision 2040

At the APEC 2020 Leaders’ Meeting, hosted by Malaysia, APEC economies agreed the Putrajaya Vision 2040. The Vision replaces the previous Bogor Goals, which guided APEC’s work up to 2020, and outlines a vision of an open, dynamic, resilient and peaceful Asia-Pacific community, for the prosperity of all people and future generations.

Supporting media materials

Website content

Official media releases