Women in maritime Asia strengthen their network

A regional conference on women in the maritime sector is taking place in Dili, Timor Leste (6-9 November) under the theme: Transitioning from Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals.

The event is gathering members of the Women in Maritime Associations for Asia (WIMAs), from 22 Asian countries. The associations aim to deliver the IMO’s Programme on the Integration of Women in the Maritime Sector (IWMS), giving visibility and recognition to the role women play as key resources for the maritime sector.

The conference is looking at ways to implementation the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 5, which seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Read more here.


Mobilizing ocean science and civil society for sustainable development

On 2 November 2017, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, with the support of the Government of Norway, hosted a side event to mobilize more coordinated efforts across nations and sectors for generating new knowledge and understanding of the ocean, and therefore improve management, stewardship and sustainable development of 71% of our planet.

A round table panel complemented the high level and special addresses, featuring IOC Executive Secretary Vladimir Ryabinin; IOC Chairperson Peter Haugan (Norway); the Vice-Chancellor of the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Prof. Nor Aieni Haji Mokhtar; and the Executive Director of Tara Foundation and representing the Ocean and Climate Platform, Romain Troublé.

Read more here.


Gender Budgeting your way to gender mainstreaming

Gender Budgeting is a powerful tool for achieving gender mainstreaming so as to ensure that benefits of development reach women as much as men. It is a tool for gender empowerment. (Gender empowerment includes opening up access to decision-making processes that make women to perceive themselves as able and entitled to occupy decision-making space).

via Gender Budgeting — SSARP Education

An Introduction to ADB’s Strategy and Guidelines for Gender Mainstreaming

01 January 2017
Gender Equity Thematic Group
Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department
Learning Modes: 
Self Study
Type of Material: 
Online Learning

This online course is available to everyone interested in gender and development. The course also provides just-in-time learning for development professionals who need to mainstream gender in their projects and programs.

Eight interactive modules help you:

understand Asian Development Bank’s approach to gender mainstreaming and the four-tier gender project categorization system;
realize the need for investments in gender equality and women’s empowerment; and learn the essentials in mainstreaming gender in development projects.

The modules:

Module 1: Introduction
Module 2: Key Gender Terms Used in ADB Operations
Module 3: The Situation of Gender Equality in the Asia and Pacific Region and Why ADB Needs to Invest More
Module 4: ADB’s Gender Policies, Architecture and Institutional Targets for Gender Mainstreaming in Operations
Module 5: ADB’s Gender Operational Plans – Putting Policy into Practice
Module 6: ADB’s Gender Mainstreaming Categories
Module 7: Preparing a Good Project Gender Action Plan
Module 8: Project Completion Reports and Reporting Gender Equality Results

Modules 2 and 3 will be useful to those interested in the general issues around gender equality in the Asia Pacific region.

A Certificate of Completion is available to those who finish the course.

Gender equity
Geographical Focus:
Visit here for more information.

Women2030 Media Training Toolkit

If you need to know more about how to communicate your campaign to others, this Media Training Toolkit will help you. It introduces basic ‘need to know’ information about telling your stories to new audiences using photography and social media, and gives advice on engaging with mainstream media. It is full of handy hints and tips, from how to prepare for interviews and write a press release, through to advice about photographing people, and do’s and don’ts for social media. Published by Women2030, the toolkit is intended as a resource to help civil society organisations and movements in their outreach, advocacy and campaigning work, so that they can effectively advocate for gender equality and women’s priorities and positions.


Women2030 is a programme that aims to achieve gender-responsive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by engaging women and gender-focussed organisations and movements around the globe. It is led by WECF International, Global Forest Coalition, Women Environmental Programme, Gender and Water Alliance, and Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development.

We hope it can be a useful tool for members and partners alike. Download here women2030-media-tooklit

Press Release: New IPU and UN Women map shows women’s representation in politics stagnating


(Geneva-New York, 15 March)—The number of women in executive government and in parliament worldwide has stagnated, with only marginal improvements since 2015, according to the data presented in the Women in Politics 2017 Map launched today by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women. The Map, which depicts global rankings for women in the executive and parliamentary branches of government as of 1 January 2017, shows slow progress towards gender equality in these areas at regional and national levels. The presentation took place at a joint IPU-UN Women press conference in New York, in the context of the ongoing session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61).

Women’s political empowerment and equal access to leadership positions at all levels are fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a more equal world. With limited growth in women’s representation, advancement of gender equality and the success of the SDGs are jeopardized.

The 2017 edition of the Map shows a slight drop in the number of countries with a woman Head of State and/or Head of Government from 2015 figures (from 19 to 17). However, the data reveals a significant increase in the number of countries with a woman Head of State and/or Head of Government since the IPU-UN Women Map’s first edition in 2005 (from 8 to 17).[1]

Progress in the number of women Members of Parliament worldwide continues to be slow. IPU data shows that the global average of women in national parliaments increased just slightly from 22.6 per cent in 2015 to 23.3 per cent in 2016. Women Speakers of Parliament have however significantly increased in number, now at an all-time high of 19.1 per cent, but obviously still far from gender balance. For more information on women in parliament, see IPU statistics on women in parliament[2] and the report Women in parliament: the year in progress[3].

“These developments show that progress in gender equality remains slow in all structures of power and types of decision-making. Power is still firmly in men’s hands, and although we have witnessed some positive trends—for example, the current record number of 53 women Speakers of Parliament out of 273 posts, globally—much remains to be done if women are to play on a level field with men,” said IPU Secretary-General Martin Chungong. “Equal representation in positions of power is a fundamental precondition for truly effective and accountable democracy.”

The number of women Ministers barely changed, rising to a total of 732 (compared to 730 in 2015); women’s participation at the ministerial level now stands at 18.3 per cent.

The top five countries with the largest share of women ministers are in Europe and the Americas. Bulgaria, France, Nicaragua, Sweden and Canada have surpassed the 50 per cent mark of women in ministerial positions. These results can be largely attributed to a clear political commitment at the highest decision-making level—both France and Canada’s leadership have committed to parity in government—and to a genuinely gender-sensitive political culture. Sweden has the world’s first self-proclaimed feminist government, and Bulgaria has seen an overall increase in women’s participation and decision-making in all spheres of power in public and private sectors, both nationally and internationally.

By contrast, Finland and Cabo Verde—which in 2015 had high rates of women ministers, ranking first and second, respectively—fell significantly behind. Finland saw a dramatic decline in women ministers in 2017, dropping from 62.5 to 38.5 per cent. Cabo Verde, normally a high-flyer, fell from 52.9 to 25 per cent (a 52.8 per cent loss of its share of women cabinet members).

“These data powerfully tell the story of the persistent missing voice of women,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “We can see that over time, the overall proportions of women in politics are changing for the better, although certainly not fast enough. However, the overall stagnation and specific reversals are warning bells of erosion of equality that we must heed and act on rapidly. The drive to protect women’s rights and achieve substantive equality for women in leadership will take joint action across parliaments, governments, civil society and international organizations. This must include the repeal or amendment of existing discriminatory laws, and the support of women in all forms of representation, including at the highest levels of government.”

Regional highlights: trends for women ministers

Continuing a trend since 2015, Africa saw a steady decline in the number of women ministers.  Women hold 19.7 per cent of the region’s ministerial posts in 2017, having first surpassed this percentage in 2012 after seven years of rapid progress. The Congo and Zambia outperformed the rest of the region, adding four and six women ministers and reaching women’s representation rates of 22.9 per cent and 33.3 per cent, respectively.

2017 saw the Americas make significant gains, bringing women’s representation to 25 per cent (from 22.4 per cent in 2015) and setting a new regional high; however, the region saw a drastic drop in women Heads of State/Heads of Government after the Presidents of Brazil and Argentina left office. Canada and Nicaragua surpassed gender parity in ministerial positions, while Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay approached or exceeded 30 per cent. By contrast, Brazil continued its downward trend, dropping from a 25.6 per cent representation rate in 2014, to 15.4 per cent in 2015 and finally, four per cent in 2017.

In Asia, women held 11 per cent of ministerial posts (from 10.6 per cent in 2015). Indonesia became the country in the region with the highest participation of women in government (25.7 per cent), while Viet Nam and Nepal experienced steep declines drifting below five per cent.

Gains were minor in the Arab States, where women’s representation in senior executive posts reached 9.7 per cent (from 9.5 per cent in 2015). Tunisia’s rate of women’s representation rose significantly from 10.5 per cent in 2015 to 23.1 per cent in 2017, after two additional women joined the government, while the UAE increased women’s presence in government to 26.7 per cent; these are the only two countries in the region to surpass 20 per cent.

In Europe, the total percentage stood at 22.5 per cent (up slightly from 21.6 per cent in 2015). Remarkably, while the Nordic countries have traditionally led on women’s representation in politics, the 2017 data shows this region suffered the largest setback globally with a 6.2 per cent drop in the number of women ministers from 2015, although women still account for 43.5 per cent of the executive in the region overall. Bulgaria, where women’s representation rose to 52.9 per cent from 17.6 per cent in 2010, quickly climbed the ladder in the world ranking from 45th to 1st. The United Kingdom and Romania gained the most women ministers in absolute terms (three), while Estonia, Belarus and Italy lost the most (two).

After steady increases in women’s representation since 2012, the Pacific region stagnated (remaining at 13 per cent, as in 2015). Given the small size of the region (only 14 countries), slight changes in numbers have significant impact in terms of the share of positions held by women.   

‘Soft’ power portfolios

The IPU-UN Women Map, supported by Global Affairs Canada, the department that leads Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance, also calls attention to the fact that women continue to hold the lion’s share of so-called ‘soft issue’ portfolios in government. However, there is evidence of some change: for the second time since 2005, the Family/ Children/ Youth/ Elderly/ Disabled portfolio is not among the two most common women-headed Ministries. At 8.7 per cent, the Environment/ Natural Resources/ Energy portfolio is for the first time the most commonly held portfolio by women ministers, followed by Social Affairs at 8.2 per cent.

Data on women ministers reveals that 30 per cent of environment ministers are women (47 out of 161), a 10 per cent increase from 2015. IPU research indicates the ascent of the environmental category is likely due to the appearance of a few, very recent, new portfolios such as Climate Change and Sustainable Development, which are held by women to a considerable extent. Of particular note, there is a change in the number of women in charge of women’s affairs, with a 10 per cent decrease to 64 women ministers out of a total of 77 ministries. This means that the number of men leading this ministry is on the rise.


[1] IPU and UN Women (2017) Women in Politics Map, As of January 2017: Bangladesh, Chile, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Liberia, Lithuania, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Namibia, Nepal, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

[2] IPU (2017), Available from http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm

[3] IPU (2017), Women in Parliament in 2016: The year in perspective, Available from https://beta.ipu.org/resources/publications/reports/2017-03/women-in-parliament-in-2016-year-in-perspective

– See more here.

Click here to download the full map.

Financing Program For Women Entrepreneur (WEP-LEAP)

SME Bank Women Entrepreneur Financing Program under the Leaders Entrepreneur Acceleration Program (WEP –LEAP) is to provide assistance to women entrepreneurs under the SME category of small and medium size to obtain financing for business expansion.

Program Features


  • Based on Shariah financing concept
  • Financing of Fixed Asset
  • Financing of Working Capital

Margin of Financing

  • Up to 100%*

Financing Amount

Minimum Financing RM500,000.00
Maximum Financing RM2,500,000

Profit Rate

  • BFR + 1.50% per annum (AMR)*

Financing Tenure

Purchase of assets Up to 10 years including grace period*
Working capital Up to 7 years including grace period*


  • The business is registered with SSM / other authorized registering bodies. (Sole-proprietorship or partnership firm, or a Sdn Bhd company).
  • For a Partnership firm or a Sdn Bhd company, the women entrepreneur (applicant) must hold majority shares of 51% AND is the key decision maker and must be full time in business.
  • Applicants are required to attend the Leaders Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (LEAP) by SME BANK-CEDAR.

For more information, please click here.

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