Addressing Gender Barriers to Entrepreneurship and Leadership
Among girls and young women in South-East Asia
Across Asia and the Pacific, gender inequalities continue to limit girls and women from realising their rights and their full potential. Despite some progress in recent decades, women in the region earn less than men, have lower access to resources, and remain underrepresented in economic and political leadership.
Crucially, barriers to women’s empowerment do not suddenly appear in adulthood. As early as age five, girls and boys are impacted by gender socialisation. Their aspirations, the traits that they are encouraged to exhibit, and the choices made regarding their access to education and opportunities are all shaped by gender norms. Adolescent girls in Asia-Pacific do three times more domestic work than boys. This limits the time they have to build skills, knowledge, and networks outside the home.