Happy International Women's Day from the Bangkok Regional Hub!

Empowering women and making gender equality a reality is a core commitment of UNDP. In every country across Asia and the Pacific, pervasive gender inequality remains a barrier to progress, justice and social stability. At UNDP, achieving gender equality is a human rights priority and a development imperative. UNDP recognizes that women’s empowerment and gender equality are cross-cutting issues that lie at the heart of human development.

UNDP in Asia and the Pacific supports regional and national efforts to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment. UNDP is committed to strengthening the capacity of their national partners in Asia and the Pacific to adopt approaches that advance women’s rights and take full account of the many ways women contribute to development. UNDP strives to ensure that women have increased economic control, strengthened political voice and enhanced legal rights.

To mark International Women’s Day and the 61st Commission on the Status of Women, the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub will once again launch an online campaign, #Champions4Equality, to galvanize support and momentum around Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Join us this Women's Day!

Follow the campaign on Facebook and Twitter.

Our Stories

Pilawary Farm: Helping Afghan women grow out of poverty

39373500392_44683d1c26_k©UNDP Afghanistan/ S. Omer Sadaat

Gul Pari, a 37-year old mother of five, arrived in Kabul eight years ago. Her circumstances were difficult. Her husband, a drug addict, could not work, and all the family’s savings had been spent on his treatment.

To make ends meet, and ensure her children were fed, Gul Pari started doing housework for her neighbours. She would arrive early at people’s houses, and leave late at night, earning around 150 Afghanis ($2) a day. Then one day, she was introduced to the manager of Pilawary Farm in Kabul. It proved to be a life-changing encounter for her. Read more

Helping women farmers transition from traditional to organic farming in India

Women Farmers India©UNDP India

Millions of women are the backbone of India's agriculture. Organic farming presents an opportunity for women farmers to cultivate with fewer inputs, generate higher profits and contribute to the sustainability of land and its ecosystems.

Under the Disha Skills project, a partnership between the India Development Foundation and UNDP India, supported by IKEA Foundation, a pilot was initiated in collaboration with Siddipet District Collectorate and Agribusiness Systems International (ASI).

Its aim is to introduce organic farming and support women farmers to own and run organic agribusinesses. Watch the story

The impact of electronic waste management on women and health in Indonesia

Jobs at what cost©UNDP Indonesia

“My grandchildren are my motivation to work. I want to make a living for my family,” said Supriyati, a plastic sorter at an Indonesian plastic recycling enterprise. But at what cost to her is her occupation? She admits that she senses weird smells coming from the waste. It causes shortness of breath and dizziness. Plus, in West and East Java, 95% of men workers get paid more than one million rupiah per month, while 89% of women workers are paid below one million rupiah ($80 USD) per month.

UNDP is working on health and safety solutions for workers in Indonesia’s plastic waste industry, with a particular focus on women and the gender roles that drive inequality. Read more

Transforming communities of Sri Lanka's dry zone

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.58.35©UNDP Sri Lanka

Working with diverse partners, USD 52.8 Million project, is expected to deliver food, livelihood and water security to Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Project beneficiaries. The project co-funded by the Green Climate Fund and the government of Sri Lanka targets to have an empowered community, women in particular by mobilizing them as key project players.

Over 80% of poor Sri Lankans live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for food and income. The project enables the farmer communities, particularly women, in the target river basins enjoy a sense of their own power also develop young community leaders, who would actively and continually be involved with the project’s sustainability. It would encourage the currently marginalized communities to play a leadership role as the cascade tanks restored with their participation would survive and continue to serve them in their water needs.

This project hopes to empower women by introducing them to alternatives for drought resilient agriculture, entrepreneurship and technology to help respond to weather and climate information. Read more

Her Story: Empowering Chinese Women in Business

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 11.00.50©UNDP China / TianQi

"I will never stop supporting my community,” says Lanhua Gu, a party secretary from Meixiang Village, China. To end hunger, she introduced modern agricultural models to the village, leading to a big harvest. To solve the shortage of doctors and medicine, she studied at a medical school with government fund, and finally established a clinic in the village.

UNDP has partnered with Visual China Group to raise public awareness of the challenges surrounding gender inequality in the workplace.

In January 2018, UNDP hosted a photography exhibition which featured the portraits and stories of 19 inspirational women in China. By showcasing their stories, this exhibition hopes to send a positive and encouraging message to women in China and inspire them to pursue their careers with ambition and confidence. Read more

Families reject violence against women and girls in Cambodia

sophea_small_©Partners for Prevention / Ana Norman Bermudez

On the grounds of a Buddhist temple in a small village in Cambodia, located just a two-hour drive from Phnom Penh, a crowd congregates enthusiastically. They are the parents and grandparents from the village who come here monthly to discuss gender equality, communication skills, parenting and volunteerism– just to name a few topics. 

Amongst these people is 39 year-old Sophea, whose personal experience with violence has prompted her to join Building Our Futures, a programme implemented over the past year in several villages in the province of Kampong Cham to prevent violence against women and girls. Read more

The Gender Equality Dispatch

Welcome to our new Gender Equality newsletter from the BangkokRegional Hub! In this, we hope to highlight the ways in which UNDPprogrammes from the Asia Pacific region have been cross-cuttinggender equality and%2For in

Welcome to the bianual gender equality newsletter from the Bangkok Regional Hub, highlighting the ways in which UNDP programmes from the Asia Pacific region have been cross-cutting gender equality or incorporating women's empowerment in order to accelerate sustainable development.

Inside this newsletter, you will find four original articles from the Bangkok Regional Hub featuring the work of country office programmes implemented in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Nauru, Tonga, and Cambodia as well as blogs from UNDP colleagues around the Asia Pacific region. Read it here


The Journey of a Mango: Women farmers in India's eastern state of Odisha

Women farmers in India's eastern state of Odisha are earning four times more than last year. What has changed?

Women peace-builders in areas of conflict: Cheery Zahau's story

Researcher, feminist, and human rights activist Cheery Zahau has devoted her life to ensuring Chin women are given a voice. Now, a UNDP flagship initiative N-Peace Network celebrates her work through the annual N-Peace Awards.

Breaking the cycle of intergenerational violence

"Building our Future: Supporting Healthy and Happy Relationships" is implemented by the Cambodian Ministry of Women's Affairs with support from UNFPA, UN Women, UN Volunteers & Partners for Prevention to help prevent violence against women and girls in the region.

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Pay Gaps


Violence Against Women


Decision Makers


Violence Against Women (2)



Turning Unpaid Domestic and Care Work into Development Dividends


Persistent inequality lies at the root of the four key issues that the Asia-Pacific region is facing: ageing, urbanisation, climate change, and youth unemployment. Unpaid domestic and care work is an example of a persistent inequality and tackling this has the potential to solve development issues. More

The UNDP Gender Equality Seal


To close persistent gender gaps in the workplace, the United Nations Development (UNDP), in partnership with national governments and the private sector is developing a Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme through which private companies can be recognized for meeting specific standards to promote gender equality and empower women. By successfully completing the certification process, companies are awarded a Gender Equality Seal that officially recognizes their achievement of gender equality in the workplace. More

The Trial of Rape


This study, the first of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, seeks to analyze how the varying criminal justice systems in Thailand and Viet Nam respond to reported cases of rape and sexual assault, and to identify the key institutional factors associated with the disposition of cases in these countries. More

Contact us

For more information on gender equality and women's empowerment in the Asia-Pacific region, contact:

Koh Miyaoi, Regional Gender Advisor (koh.miyaoi@undp.org)

For more information on #Champions4Equality, contact:

Mailee Osten-Tan, Gender Equality Communications (mailee.ostentan@undp.org)

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