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Hong Kong, Singapore, Asia’s Best Should Empower Women and Promote Equality

The more affluent countries in Asia should push harder for gender equality says UN regional director for women's rights

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Considering the stature of wealthy nations like Singapore and Hong Kong, their corresponding governments are in better position to institute and influence change across the region regarding essential issues.

Mohammad Naciri, who is the UN regional director for women’s rights, has called on Asia’s leading countries to use their affluence and prestige in order to push for gender equality across the Asia-Pacific sphere.

During his visit to Hong Kong, he said that trade and business can easily catch the public eye and lure the international community if the institutions concerned were to get involved in promoting change across the globe.

Before assuming the UN post to advance the interests of women in the Asia-Pacific, Naciri had been a director for the Arab States.

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He said that that institutions which elevate human interest and pursue social awareness are far more appealing to global communities. With this in mind, such enterprises will make it quite easy to attract investments.

Naciri is scheduled to participate in the opening the session at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange this week. The event will also coincide with the International Women’s Day celebration.

Naciri’s call to pursue gender parity leans on the recent Global Gender Gap report. The World Economic Forum has unveiled that equality will only be attained in 108 years based on the current pace. Full parity in the workplace will be obtained in 202 years.

The UN executive says that more efforts should be done. Although civil society and the government are supportive of the campaign, the approach is not enough. The private sector must also help in order to hasten the drive towards parity.

When it comes to the leadership ladder, women in the Asia-Pacific remain under represented where only one in five legislators is a lady. In addition, the pay gap is quite huge as manifested by the 1.5% to 49.6% range. Meanwhile, the poverty line for females in South and Southeast Asia is high at 30.9% compared to male’s at 25.4%.

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