Southeast Asia’s empowered women in spotlight
Women can shatter the glass ceiling. They can overcome the glass cliff. These are invisible barriers that hinder women from succeeding in their professions, but they are not impossible to surmount.
It is refreshing to look at Southeast Asia where societal norms continue to influence the status of women, but where women have also shown that they can conquer obstacles and break stereotypes.
#FemaleForward2020 presents stories of five women rising above tides and hierarchies: a young girl in Indonesia unintimidated by age and gender, creatively turning waste into artistic products; a feisty lady unsilenced by threats in Malaysia, challenging archaic Islamic laws, a relentless journalist and educator in Myanmar, nurturing minds to counter disinformation; a human rights defender in the Philippines, slaying dragons in local politics; and a compassionate businesswoman in Vietnam, building her company with pillars of kindness. Their achievements show how organizations, businesses, and communities thrive when women take on bigger roles. While the Global Gender Gap Report 2020 indicates that it will take 99.5 years to achieve gender parity – an impossible feat in this lifetime – this does not discount investing in infrastructures that would ensure that the next generation of women can have more opportunities to realize their potential. It is important to look at policies that would create space towards empowerment.
Certainly, there is no limit to what women can accomplish. They can step forward and up.