Power, Voice and Rights: A Turning Point for Gender Eqality in Asia and the Pacific
The Asia-Pacific region has witnessed remarkable economic progress and rapid development in recent decades, yet gender inequality remains entrenched even through this era of change. The region lags behind on gender parity on multiple counts, despite progress on several other dimensions. While overall indicators for economic prosperity, educational attainments and access to healthcare have improved for the region’s population over the recent decades, gender gaps have not closed. Moreover, the region has seen divergent trends towards gender equality—notably, while East Asia and the Pacific have made significant advances, South Asia’s progress on many counts has been slow. A girl born in South Asia today still has very different life chances compared to her counterpart in East Asia in terms of health status, educational attainments or employment opportunities.
All countries face challenges—even those performing well on the income, health and education indicators. People, particularly women, continue to confront discrimination in jobs, disparities in power, voice and political representation, and laws that are prejudicial on the basis of their gender. This Asia-Pacific Human Development Report (APHDR) interrogates how some countries in the region have succeeded in narrowing gender disparities more than others.