The ASEM “High-Level Dialogue on women’s economic empowerment amid the Covid-19 Pandemic event”, hosted by Vietnam, co-sponsored by Denmark and seven other ASEM member states, took off in Hanoi on 12-13 October 2020.
The Dialogue attracted a wide range of policy makers, government officials, scholars and experts from all over the ASEM member states, who enlightened and discussed policies to promote regional and inter-regional cooperation on women’s empowerment and inclusive growth in the digital age. Focus was also on how to rebuild more equal and resilient societies in the post-pandemic recovery, as well as on the connectivity between Asia and Europe in tackling prevailing gender bias by putting women at the centre of pandemic response plans.
Ms. Kira Uitterdijk Appel from Department for Gender Equality in the Danish Ministry of Environment and Food, attended the Dialogue to share Danish policies and best practices in Women Empowerment. Ms. Appel highlighted that “the pandemic is not only a health and economic crisis; it can also result in a gender equality crisis. We must ensure that women don’t end up double victimized – both from the direct consequences of corona as well as indirectly from a backlash on gender equality. Such a crisis definitely calls for international cooperation and solidarity beyond the efforts of individual countries and institutions.”
Ms Appel also added “Denmark is amongst the happiest nations in the world, and the level of gender equality is one reason why we are happy. Because gender equality is all about respect and knowing that no matter if you are a women or a man you can choose the life you want.”
Denmark has recently emerged as the world’s most progressive country in terms of gender equality, achieving a near-excellent score of 89.3 out of 100 in the 2019 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Gender Index released by Equal Measures 2030.