APEC Women Leaders’ Network (WLN) and the participation of VWU

APEC Women Leaders’ Network (WLN) was founded in 1996 with the goal of stimulating women’s participation in all areas of investment, trade and coooperation in the Asia Pacific on the principle of gender equality, contributing to the sustainable growth and human development in the region

WLN has member organizations in 21 APEC economies, who join WLN o­n a voluntary basis and take turn in chairing the network for a year and hosting the WLN meeting in the same year.


The 10 WLN meetings so far have been hosted by the following economies: Phillipines (1996), Canada (1997), Malaysia (1998), New Zealand (1999), Brunei Darussalam (2000), China (2001), Mexico (2002), Thailand (2003), Chile (2004) and Korea (2005). The network is chaired by the Vietnam Women’s Union (VWU) in 2006.


WLN has 3 main objectives, i.e. to increase gender knowledge in APEC framework; to encourage and support initiatives by APEC economies in increasing women’s participation in APEC processes; to increase awareness o­n gender issues in ecnomic and technical cooperation and to mainstream gender issues into all APEC policies, programs, projects and activities. Aiming at these objectives, WLN annual meetings focus o­n enhancing women leaders’ role in supporting women’s economic development and women entrepreneur development and in promoting gender issues in APEC framework during international economic integration by APEC economies. The outputs of WLN meetings, i.e. the Declaration and Recommendation, are to be sent to leaders, ministers and senior officers of APEC economies to call for more comprehensive support and more favorable conditions for women’s economic development activities in the region and for full implementation of gender mainstreaming commitments in APEC, to contribute to the APEC common goal of equitable and sustainable development.


Following Vietnam’s joining APEC, VWU attended for the first time the 3rd WLN meeting held in Malaysia in 1998 and was officially admitted to this network. VWU as WLN focal point in Vietnam since then has been participating in WLN meetings with the presence of VWU top leaders, representatives of VWU at all levels as well as Vietnamese prominent and promising women entrepreneurs.


Taking the WLN Chair position since 1 Jan. 2006, VWU is the focal point for the 11th WLN meeting to be held between 28-31 Aug. 2006 in Hanoi. Attending the meeting will be 150-200 international delegates from WLN member organizations, scholars and distinguished entrepreneurs from 20 APEC economies and about 200 Vietnamese delegates, including leaders of the Party, the State and Hanoi city, VWU leaders at the central and provincial levels, representatives of the Vietnam Women Entrepreneur Council, and prominent women entrepreneurs throughout the country. Based o­n the overall theme of APEC 2006 in VietnamTowards a dynamic community for sustainable and prosperous development”, the theme and agenda of the 11th WLN meeting will address common concerns of the network, i.e. supporting and developing women’s businesses, information technology with sustainable development, and particularly the consolidation and development of the network in its second decade.


WLN is a good channel for VWU and Vietnamese women entrepreneurs’ integration, sharing and and learning experiences, developing partnership and contributing to APEC’s common development and wealth. To host successfully the 11th WLN meeting in Hanoi is a very good chance to introduce the country, people, economy, and culture of Vietnam, particularly the images, role and contribution by Vietnamese women in the industrialization and modernization of the country. With experiences from its involvement in previous WLN meetings and its broad operation fields, VWU hopes to make the 11th WLN meeting in Hanoi a success.

International relation department