Despite progress across many areas of gender equality in the Asia Pacific region, gender gaps in the world of work remain stubborn. The Asia Pacific is the only global region with a declining female labor force participation: COVID-19 has exacerbated these inequalities, with increasing evidence that women’s work has been more negatively affected than that of men in terms of job losses as well as the rise in unpaid care work. Economic recovery strategies will need to address women’s work in order to ‘build back better’.

A panel of experts looked at new approaches to measure women’s work and empowerment, and the implications for research and evidence-based policy making.