About ACWO

On November 20th, 1981, ACWO was formally established at a meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia. The meeting was held in conjunction with the reactivation of the ASEAN Women's Programme (AWP), the ASEAN Governments' grouping charged with the responsibility of women in development programmes.

ACWO is an institutional framework established to bring together women's voluntary organizations in the ASEAN region to work in concerted efforts towards the full integration of women in development. ACWO comprises the National Council of Women's Organizations in each ASEAN member country.

It is the regional forum for ASEAN women to exchange views / problems, and experiences, to assist in the implementation of strategies and programmes adopted by the ASEAN governments, for the enhancement of women's participation in both national and regional progress.

The First ACWO General Assembly was held in Jakarta, Indonesia o­n February 21st, 1984, jointly with the 3rd Meeting of the ASEAN Women's Programme. From its inception, ACWO has had close ties and working relations with AWP (now the ASW - ASEAN Sub-committee o­n Women), the ASEAN Government's Committee o­n Social Development. It holds affiliated status as the Non-Government Organization recognized by the ASEAN Standing Committee and is accredited to the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC). Since 1995, ACWO also joined the ECOSOC which provides it with category II status in the UN system. This also enables ACWO to participate in important UN discussions relating to women such as Commission o­n the Status of Women, Convention o­n the Elimination of (all forms of) Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), etc.

Up to now, ACWO has convened 13 General Assemblies with various themes reflecting women’s concerns. Opening the 21st Century, ACWO has addressed: 

The New Millennium, ASEAN Women Taking Stock and Moving Forward (May 2000, Malaysia);

Globalization - Economic, social and political empowerment (July 2002, Singapore);

Elimination of Violence Against Women (July 2004, Thailand);

ICT: e-commerce and e-government bringing a higher quality of life in ASEAN (September 2006, Brunei Darussalam); 

Empowering women and expanding their participation in the globalized economy (November 2008, The Philippines).

Enhancing women’s effective participation toward a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable Asean (October 2010, Vietnam) 

(Source: acwo.org)