Regional Dialogue: Paths to Women’s Economic Empowerment in IORA Countries

Sunimalee Madurawala, Research Officer, participated the “Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Dialogue Event – Paths to Women’s Economic Empowerment, with a Focus on Tourism and Textiles in IORA Countries”, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during 17-19 August 2014.

The event brought together more than 100 women and men from business, government, academia and civil society from all twenty IORA countries-across Africa, South and East Asia and the Middle East.

The Dialogue aimed to promote women’s economic empowerment as a key element of broader economic growth, through a close examination of the tourism and textiles sectors. The event is a respond to the important agreement by IORA Ministers in November 2013 to develop initiatives to enhance women’s political and economic empowerment, and build gender considerations into IORA work.  Participants developed a set of key messages to be presented at the next IORA Council of Ministers Meeting in Australia, in October 2014.

The event was hosted by the Australian Government in collaboration with the Government of Malaysia and with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Asia-Pacific Regional Centre. The Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms. Natasha Stott Despoja AM, chaired the event.