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HSF supports the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in organizing the
ASEM High-level dialogue on Women’s economic empowerment amid the Covid-19 pandemic

Gender Equality and women’s empowerment are crucial topics for all 53 ASEM countries. Especially in the context of Covid-19, the existing gender gap has become even more visible and the pandemic has disproportionally impacted women.

Policy strategies and recovery plans in order to promote gender equality and economic empowerment for women have been discussed during the ASEM high-level dialogue.


According to Caitlin Wiesen, United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Viet Nam, “Jobs and incomes of women have been reduced in heavily-affected sectors such as garment and footwear, education and health care, tourism and related services where female workers dominate, temporarily pushing many of them into poverty or deeper in poverty.”

Therefore, this year’s Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) focused on developing policy strategies and recovery plans in order to promote gender equality and economic empowerment for women. Almost 130 participants including government officials, policymakers, experts and researchers took part in the dialogue. Vietnamese representatives as well as Ambassadors and officials from ASEM countries came together in Hanoi, while additional participants from all ASEM countries joined virtually. The goal of the event was to provide a platform for ASEM partners to promote regional and inter-regional co-operation on women's economic empowerment and inclusive growth in the digital age, rebuilding more equal, inclusive and resilient societies in post-pandemic recovery as well as strengthen co-operation between Asia and Europe, and unify awareness to have co-ordinated policies to enhance women's empowerment to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s crucial to integrate women’s economic empowerment in countries’ recovery and action plans to ensure their effectiveness.

Government officials, policymakers, experts and researchers from all ASEM countries took part in the conference in Hanoi as well as online.


By bringing together 53 countries, ASEM has made important contributions to promoting gender equality and strengthening economic empowerment for women in the region. The Hanns Seidel Foundation Vietnam is supporting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for almost 10 years in the organization of various workshops and events, such as the ASEM conferences.