PRESS RELEASE Poverty Impacts Women More Severely Than Men
Lack of access to and control over resources, lack of opportunities and lack of mobility were serious issues which impacted women more severely.
Dr. Ing Kantha Phavi, Minister of Women’s Affairs said that “Women were severely impacted because of lack of decision making power and that women in the formal sector such as services, manufacturing and lower rung positions were often subjected to “ Last to be hired and first to be hired.”
She said that women often did not have any job security, no maternity benefits, no health benefits, no leave and pensions though women in the informal sector contributed substantively to the GDP.
Minister Kantha Phavi said that it was therefore crucial that opportunities and alternative resources were made available for communities and to ensure than both women and men shared responsibilities towards sustaining the environment.
Meanwhile, Khuon Sudary, member of theStanding Committeeof the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), said that the global economic andfinancial crisishad put disproportionate burden on women.
“In fact, the gender issues in Asia have not attained increased prominence in the regional and international debates on sustainable energy, environment and economy.”
Iris Indira Murti, Chairperson of International Cooperation Board of the Central Executive Board of Party of the Functional Groups ofIndonesia, commented that since women workedtwo thirdsof their normal working hours largely because of house hold chores and that they should beequal opportunitiesfor both women and men in this globalized world.
She added: “Women will be good in politics if politics were good to women,” and that there should be concerted “Pro-women and pro-poor approach at policy making levels.
The session concluded with representatives from 22 countries issuing a joint declaration which reaffirmed the commitment of women to the objectives of ICAPP to promote exchanges and cooperation between political parties to enhance mutual understanding and trust among peoples and countries in the region, to promote regional cooperation through the unique role and channel of political parties, and to create an environment for sustained peace and shared prosperity in the region.
Meanwhile Rinzin Jamtsho, the Secretary to the President of Bhutan, said in the second plenary session of ICAPP that “Bhutan became a democracy by the persuasion and personal efforts of a King who worked consistently over thirty years to establish the prerequisites of a democratic culture and institutional arrangements.”
“The so called leaders today are recruits called upon by the people to serve the nation at this critical juncture. In pursuing noble vision of Kings of Bhutan, the party has adopted the principle of “growth with equity and justice” as the central theme that has been the guiding principle.”
He added that Bhutan is the only country, pursuing the unique and profound concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and that the ultimate goal of development in Bhutan is to maximize happiness of the people, which takes into account the values of spiritual and emotional needs more than just satisfying material needs. Gross National Happiness comprises of four pillars. Four pillars are: equitable socio- economic development, environmental preservation, cultural promotion and good governance.
The general theme adopted by most speakers was for Asian countries dire need to address the key issues to construct a road map for accelerating growth for a better tomorrow. These included building on past achievements, quality education, bringing employment and Meso Economy to the center point, improving health services, ensuring pro-poor growth, strengthening local government, upgrading micro credit, focus on women’s advancement, strengthening connectivity, improving technology by giving emphasis on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and bringing policy process into focus and addressing implementation.