AVPN Releases Report on State of Gender Inclusion in the APAC Regulatory Landscape at Its South Asia Summit


Mumbai: The Asia Gender Network (AGN), powered by AVPN, released a report on “State of Gender Inclusion in the APAC Regulatory Landscape” on the sidelines of the AVPN South Asia Summit in December 2023. The study was the result of a collaborative, philanthropic effort by two AGN members, Radha Goenka, Director of RPG Foundation and Kathleen Chew, Programme Director of YTL Foundation.

The study offers a comprehensive overview of where the APAC region is headed in terms of its policies towards gender inclusion. The Report, developed by The Economist Impact, is a first-of-its-kind assessment that brings in the Asian perspective to understand the region’s best practices that can be scaled and learned from and taken to other parts of the world as a roadmap to achieve gender inclusion. Tabled at a most opportune moment, as India affirmatively turns the tide from women’s empowerment to women-led development under its G20 Presidency, the study acts as a foundation stone towards further collaborative philanthropic action to achieve gender equity in Asia-Pacific.

Spread across five chapters, the report addresses challenges and solutions towards access to education for women and girls, women’s workforce participation, their political participation and access to healthcare.

Unveiled on the sidelines of the AVPN South Asia Summit in December 2023 in Mumbai, India, some of the more important outcomes arrived at as a part of the study include:

  • Policy recognition of the gender spectrum is an emerging strength in the region
  • Dedicated financing for gender mainstreaming is enabling equality
  • The coverage of existing policies is limited to certain demographics, leaving out people at intersections
  • The need for policies countering online and offline gender-based violence in the region
  • Missing data on gender across sectors limits decision-making and results in missing policies and inadequate coverage
  • Socio-cultural norms and traditional views of gender roles limit implementation, thereby contributing to the gender inclusion gap within the region
  • Finally, digitalisation, education and partnerships offer pathways to parity

Talking about the state of gender inclusion in Asia-Pacific’s regulatory landscape report, Radha Goenka, Director, RPG Foundation, shared, “This study will positively affect the cause of gender inclusion in the APAC region. The results of this study, especially those in the areas of women’s workforce participation, offer some incredible insights that can work as a beacon to formulate gender-sensitive legislation and policies. The need for policies to make workplaces safe for women and social security for women, especially those in the informal sector, are all key points that can truly affect change in the workplace. I want to thank my fellow impact leaders and the many experts who worked tirelessly to carve a path that can be followed and introduce real change on the ground in the APAC region.”

The AVPN South Asia Summit December 2023, a two-day event held in Mumbai was hosted with the theme ‘“Bringing Fringes to the Fore” by AVPN. The conversations at the event were held around South Asia and the journey of its member countries towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To tackle challenges including disparities and uneven advancements, the gathering focused on purposeful social investment, emphasising the need to bring the fringes to the fore, ensuring that marginalised communities aren’t left behind.

Sharing her thoughts about the conclusion of the Summit, Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO, AVPN, said, “Our South Asia Summit December 2023 was a true convergence, given the diversity of voices from across the APAC region. Over two days, listening to 70 speakers across 27 sessions provided a comprehensive understanding of the investment ecosystem and structures of philanthropy in South Asia. In line with the year’s theme, we truly brought the fringes to the fore. It was inspiring to be part of discussions charged with powerful and effective impact investment strategies that show the promise of bolstering South Asia’s collective economic growth and can help chart a course for sustainable transformation. We are pleased to add value to discussions around purposeful giving and envision a future that will help uplift the weakest among us in a way that meets the SDGs.”