According to a recent report released jointly by UN Women and ASEAN Chair Cambodia, Cambodia leads ASEAN in women’s employment with 49 women out of every 100 employed people, a number that is greater than Singapore, the region’s most advanced economy, which could account for only 47.
In terms of employment, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vietnam, both of which have a 47 percent female presence, are next to Cambodia. Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines rank last, with only 39 women employed for every 100 people.
The presence of women in corporate leadership roles, according to the report, will increase performance of the firm. “Breaking the glass ceiling is expected to allow women to gain access to higher wages and greater flexibility to shape decisions that have significant economic, environmental, and social implications for the ASEAN region as a whole,” the report stated.
Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) account for a considerable proportion of business establishments in the ASEAN region. Many of these firms are owned or controlled by women, who are helping to shape the region’s economy and its impacts on human development, well-being, and the environment, said the report.
Women’s roles as leaders and change agents are becoming more widely recognised in the ASEAN region. However, greater efforts are needed to promote their roles in accelerating productivity, improving ecosystem conservation, and fostering more sustainable and inclusive development.