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Region:Asia Pacific Current UN Women Plan Period Afghanisthan:2018-2022
i-icon World Bank Income Classification:Low Income The World Bank classifies economies for analytical purposes into four income groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high income. For this purpose it uses gross national income (GNI) per capita data in U.S. dollars, converted from local currency using the World Bank Atlas method, which is applied to smooth exchange rate fluctuations. i-icon Least Developed Country:Yes Since 1971, the United Nations has recognized LDCs as a category of States that are deemed highly disadvantaged in their development process, for structural, historical and also geographical reasons. Three criteria are used: per capita income, human assets, and economic vulnerability. i-icon Gender Inequality Index:0.575 GII is a composite metric of gender inequality using three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment and the labour market. A low GII value indicates low inequality between women and men, and vice-versa. i-icon Gender Development Index:0.723 GDI measures gender inequalities in achievement in three basic dimensions of human development: health, education, and command over economic resources.
i-icon Population:209,497,025 Source of population data: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2022). World Population Prospects: The 2022 Revision Male:19,976,265 (9.5%) Female:189,520,760 (90.5%)
Map Summary
Showing field-based data of 2021
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outcome XM-DAC-41146-APA_D_2.1

Gender-responsive policy and legislative frameworks are developed and implemented to promote safe migration, decent work and sustainable development for all women workers, including migrant workers

The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic has long-lasting effects on many women migrant workers, especially related to increasing financial hardship and inability to provide essentials for their families whose lives depend on their remittances and secure overseas employment due to tighter restrictions on migrants. In 2021 UN Women, through its regional role, continued providing technical guidance to stakeholders, particularly in South and Southeast Asian sub-regions to implement their global commitments on migration. UN Women actively supported the organization of the 14th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML) with efforts to ensure women migrant-specific needs and concerns were highlighted in discussions and integrated into the Forum’s recommendations, which were adopted by ASEAN member states, civil society organizations (CSOs) and employer associations and trade unions. Further, with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation under the Governance of Labour Migration in South and Southeast Asia (GOALS) project, UN Women in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) actively assisted the organization of the meetings of the Colombo Process’s Thematic Area Working Groups (TAWGs) in reviewing their objectives in taking actions to promote safe migration and decent work for all migrant workers, especially women. In particular, UN Women influenced the engagement of more diverse non-state actors, especially CSOs and trade unions in the TAWG meetings. With the increased participation of non-state actors, the dynamic of the TAWG meetings has changed. CSO and trade union actors were given more space to voice the specific concerns of women migrant workers in the labour migration process, especially in the areas concerning skills and qualification recognition; ethical recruitment; reintegration; and remittances to government representatives and other stakeholders, and share lessons learned from their hands-on provision gender-responsive interventions. This increased awareness of making migration governance gender-responsive among the Member States of the TAWGs and enhanced meaningful interactions between them and non-state actors at the regional and national levels. As a member of the Executive Committee of the Regional United Nations Network on Migration for Asia and the Pacific, UN Women continued providing technical inputs and advice in planning and organizing the activities of the Network, including the Regional Review of Global Compact on Migration on 10-12 March 2021 and regional stakeholder consultation during July to September. As a result of UN Women’s advocacy effort, gender-related issues in migration policies and practices were highlighted to the government and other stakeholders. In addition, UN Women emphasized the engagement of non-state stakeholders, especially CSOs, trade unions, local authorities, the private sector, and the media in the consultation process organized by the Network. These have increased awareness and promoted collaborations among stakeholders in line with the GCM’s Whole of Society approach.
outcome XM-DAC-41146-APA_D_2.2

More women lead, participate and have access to business opportunities to advance sustainable and inclusive growth (Outcome 7)

UN Women supported the development of the first-ever reporting framework aligned to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). The WEPs Transparency and Accountability Framework, which includes a set of gender equality indicators across corporate value chains, is fully aligned with existing corporate gender quality frameworks. Businesses can use the framework for transparent reporting, with support from governments and other stakeholders, and more effectively work towards a gender-equal economy that works for all genders. To deepen understanding of public and private sector mechanisms for gender equality aligned to the WEPs, WeEmpowerAsia (WEA) and ILO developed the WEPs ASEAN Ecosystem Landscaping report, which provides policymakers, companies, civil society, employer organizations, and other stakeholders with the ASEAN region with comprehensive details on policy gaps and sets out a clear policy roadmap for ASEAN member states to advance more gender-responsive business conduct and especially clear guidance on reporting and implementing Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs)-related policies. Increased commitments and actions from the private sector to drive more responsible business conduct, have been leveraged during the reporting period. The Asia Pacific region has been the world's fastest-growing region with WEPs signatories growing from 192 signatories in 2019 to 1665 signatories in 2021. Additionally, WEA boosted the uptake of the number of companies who have undertaken a gender assessment through the Gender Gap Analysis Tool (GAT), with an increase of 269 companies across WEA countries and 432 companies in the Asia Pacific region, compared to the previous reporting year. Building on the successful implementation of the 2020 Asia-Pacific WEPs Awards, WEA organized the 2021 WEPs Awards and received nearly doubled the number of applications – from 250 companies and 400 applications in 2020 to 480 companies and 700 applications in 2021. Further, WEA intensified its outreach and capacity-building activities to strengthen private sector commitments. Despite the impacts of the pandemic, the WEA programme has especially contributed to getting more businesses engaged to commit and implement gender-responsive practices. A key shift in programme activities spurred by COVID-19 was a new workstream to address the women’s exponential burden of underpaid and unpaid care work, a long-standing issue that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. One of the most notable achievements of WEA to address this skewed care burden innovatively has been the work on Care Entrepreneurship in the context of achieving inclusive recovery, where WEA has demonstrated concrete results during the reporting period, notably the implementation of the first ever Care Accelerator, aiming to promote women-led and/or women-impacting enterprises to build innovative solutions aiming to contribute to creating business, employment and income opportunities for women and other care workers by supporting new, creative solutions in the care sector – to make care more accessible and affordable, and improve the overall quality of care services. The programme has worked with 13 selected ‘Care Enterprises’ and has increased their capacities to strengthen their business models to become more resilient and inclusive and helped them to be connected to investors, mentors, and other entrepreneurs. Further, WEA continued to play an important role in strengthening entrepreneurship capacities among women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on the ‘missing middle, to contribute to an inclusive recovery and transform businesses to become more gender-responsive, leading to more women having access to decent employment opportunities. For example, the Industry Disruptor is a WEA-led initiative that connects women-owned businesses with larger corporates in the Indian textile and fashion industry and E-Commerce Sector to co-develop innovative solutions to address sustainability challenges in the industry while connecting more women with larger corporates. Building on the success of the first edition, during the reporting year, WEA initiated the second phase of the “Industry Disruptor 2.0” in collaboration with The DO School. WEA has also developed a range of capacity-building tools/programmes for entrepreneurs and ecosystem players. For example, the ‘WeRise Tool’ aims to create more viable and more inclusive business models for SMEs, inclusive of scalable and replicable Accelerator and Entrepreneurship Toolkits, which have been piloted in Thailand and Indonesia. The toolkits aim to (1) increase the ability of women entrepreneurs to assess and access the right sources of finance while becoming inclusive business and WEPs Champions, and (2) increase the ability of acceleration programmes to become more gender inclusive and increase investments in women-led/ benefitting business.
outcome XM-DAC-41146-APA_D_2.3

Needs of women are better addressed by climate change and disaster risk reduction actions for ensuring alternative climate-resilient livelihoods

Climate change continues to impact Asia and the Pacific region. Women and other vulnerable groups remain disproportionately affected by climate-induced disasters and are further put at risk due to growing inequalities and the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Extreme weather and climate-related events accounted for 83 per cent of all disasters in Asia and the Pacific over the past decade[1]; a pattern that is expected to continue, with the number of climate disasters expected to maintain an upward trend.[2] An alarming forecast, considering that in 2019 more than 75 million people were affected by disasters in Asia and the Pacific.[3] UN Women continues to create an enabling environment for advancing gender equality and human rights in climate change and disaster risk reduction policies and processes in the region through providing technical support and normative guidance to countries and intergovernmental organisations, promoting women’s leadership in climate change, building capacities of governments and women-focused civil society organizations, and fostering genuine partnership and strong regional cooperation. The regional work, through the EmPower: Women for Climate Resilient Societies project, focused on building a comprehensive analysis of gender equality and climate change through the preparation of flagship assessment reports including the NDC assessment report and an interactive map that reviews collective commitments of 49 countries in the region. UN Women has also co-led the preparation of the series of State of Gender Equality and Climate Change reports, including the sub-regional report for the ASEAN and South Asia and Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) Region. The reports are aimed at building evidence and providing concrete recommendations to facilitate country-driven actions and strengthen regional cooperation to advance gender equality and human rights in climate policy and action. As a result of the work, several member states and sectoral bodies have articulated support and a strong commitment to bringing gender equality to the forefront of their climate agenda. Despite the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, UN Women has enabled dialogue and strengthened the capacities of governments and civil society organizations on the nexus of gender equality and climate change through regional consultations and capacity-building activities. Over 2000 government officials, practitioners, and women-focused organizations have increased their knowledge and skills and are equipped to integrate gender equality into climate policy and action. Learning sessions also served to amplify country practices and open the space for collective learning and engagement of key stakeholders. Activity includes facilitating the regional consultation on the “Action Coalition on Feminist Justice for Climate Action” under the Generation Equality Forum campaign, four side events on “Long-term Planning and National Commitments”, “Regional Approaches towards Integrated Climate Solutions”, “Gender-Responsive Climate Action”, and “Making Connections That Matter: Gender and Climate Commitments” during the Asia Pacific Climate Week, regional cross-country peer learning event on the Integration of Gender Equality and Human Rights in Climate Change and Renewable Energy, classroom events and virtual market place on gender and human rights during COP26, and a listening session with women-focused CSOs on gender-responsive DRR, “Breaking Silos, Building Resilience: Listening to Women-Focused Organizations for Climate Action and DRR”. A key achievement through the partnership with UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is linked to the change in the lives of 2411 women in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Viet Nam who have received support and are economically benefitting from climate-resilient interventions through the use of renewable energy sources. Women entrepreneurs have increased access to finance, knowledge, and skills including business development, financial literacy, and renewable energy technologies. Strategies and lessons on establishing renewable energy enterprises were consolidated and disseminated through the Guidebook on Renewable Energy and Women’s Entrepreneurship Programmes. [1] IFRC, 2020. World Disasters Report 2020: Come Heat or High Water – Tackling the Humanitarian Impacts of the Climate Crisis Together. p.2. [2] UNESCAP, 2019. Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2019: The Disaster Riskscape Across Asia-Pacific, Pathways for Resilience, Inclusion, and Empowerment. p.9. [3] IFRC, 2020. p.91.
outcome XM-DAC-41146-APA_D_3.1

An enabling legislative and policy environment in line with international standards on EVAW and other forms of discrimination is in place and translated into action

New National Action Plans in Lao PDR and Malaysia: Two new National Action Plans, one on violence against women and children and one on trafficking in persons were adopted in Lao PDR and Malaysia, respectively. In Malaysia, UN Women ROAP, through the Safe and Fair Programme (SAF), contributed to the new National Action Plan on Anti-Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) (2021-2025) in collaboration with UNODC. The NAPTIP was launched in March 2021, by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The new NAPTIP provides the policy and implementation directions for Malaysia’s anti-trafficking efforts in the next five years. The NAPTIP 3.0 was developed through a collaborative process among the Malaysian Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons, UN Women, ILO, and UNODC through the Safe and Fair Programme and civil society organizations. The inputs from UN Women mainly focused on enhancing the prevention of trafficking in persons by addressing risk factors, protection through legal remedies, and provision of services to survivors, including increased prosecution of trafficking in persons (TIP). In Lao PDR, UN Women, through SAF, provided technical support to the Second National Plan of Action on Preventing and Elimination of Violence against Women and Violence against Children (2021-025) (NPAVAWVAC). The technical support from UN Women focused on ensuring the integration of the gender-sensitive and survivor-centered approaches in the NPAVAWVAC. The lessons learned from the NAPVAW Cambodia (adopted in 2020) and the NPAVAWVAC Lao PDR were consolidated into the Guidance Note to Develop Migrant-Sensitive National Action Plans on Violence against Women, along with other national action plans supported by UN Women. Building capacities of service providers was advanced through a practical guide, “Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for a Coordinated Response to Violence against Women, including women migrant workers”. This new resource was introduced to service providers in the ASEAN region, through a webinar organized in December 2021. UN Women developed the SOPs guide through in-depth cooperation and consultation with partners across the countries in ASEAN that are developing national and local SOPs, as part of the Safe and Fair programme. It recommends updating SOPs to ensure the referral pathways are functioning and relevant to the current context and situation of women subject to violence, including during times of crisis or pandemics such as COVID-19. The guide has been used by key stakeholders in Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Ending Violence against Women and Children in East Asia and Pacific: In November 2021, UN Women, UNICEF, and UNFPA organized a session on violence against women (VAW) and violence against children (VAC) during UNICEF’s INSPIRE conference to share findings from a regional study on VAW and violence against children (VAC). This study informed a joint programme with UN Women, UNICEF, and UNFPA in Viet Nam (“Supporting Interventions to Eliminate Violence against Women and Children in Viet Nam under COVID-19 Emergency Context”, jointly implemented June 2020 - May 2021). The joint emergency programme was the first time that the three UN agencies worked together to design and implement a project on VAW and VAC in an emergency in Viet Nam, and resulted in the development and approval of a new joint programme on ending violence against women and children (EVAWC) from 2021 to 2025 in Viet Nam. Based on the progress made, ROAP’s strategy and theory of change for this outcome are still applicable and have not been amended. In Viet Nam, the TOC of the EVAW programme in the strategic note 2022-2026 was informed by the theory of change of the joint programme. The regional EVAW team, UNFPA, and UNICEF have started discussing further joint work in 2022. Building on four country studies, in 2021 the EVAW supported the release of a joint letter by the Regional Directors from the three agencies, urging staff in country offices to collaborate more closely. The potential impact of this work is significant as it has historically been challenging to work on the intersections of VAW and VAC.
outcome XM-DAC-41146-APA_D_3.2

Favorable social norms, attitudes and behaviors are promoted at national, community and individual levels to prevent VAW

UN Women ROAP led a joint initiative with WHO to introduce the latest evidence on the prevention of VAW to teams of policymakers, advocates, and researchers from Bangladesh, India, and Nepal in 2021. This learning series is designed primarily for policymakers focused on the global RESPECT framework developed by WHO and UN Women and has since been replicated in other regions and countries globally as well as in the Asia-Pacific region. Participants in the series have used the evidence and networks formed to advance prevention strategies, programming, and research. The Regional Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence brought together change-makers from across the Asia Pacific region to accelerate action on gender equality, inspire action and bold commitments from all stakeholders and discuss the priority Action Areas. The Regional Dialogue was organized by UN Women ROAP in collaboration with the CSO Breakthrough and featured a diversity of speakers and activists. It kicked off with the powerful poem ‘Fortified Fortress’ by a young Thai artist, which spoke to the experiences of abuse, harassment, and violence that many survivors of violence against women share. The event featured speakers about the Transformative Agenda of the Action Coalition on Gender-Based Violence and the Commitment Makers Model. The four Actions of the GBV Action Coalition were unpacked, featuring a diverse range of speakers and views from across the region. The attention on the issues received through this Regional Dialogue is informing the EVAW teams and conversations and engagement with donors, governments, and other stakeholders going forward. In 2021, UN Women and the Equality Institute published a Monitoring Framework to measure progress in the prevention of VAW. Building on global frameworks – including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this Monitoring Framework is intended for policymakers and advocates to support monitoring progress on preventing and ending VAW and advancing gender equality at national levels by providing suggested indicators to measure the change in the short, medium, and long term. These indicators align with the SDGs and present an array of options that illustrate how tracking indicators for gender equality- such as land ownership- are related to violence prevention. This resource meets a critical need in the field of prevention of violence, where progress in reducing violence is slow as measured by national prevalence rates, and more intermediate measures of change are needed.
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References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).
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