Issued by APEC Secretariat
San Francisco, California, September 16, 2011 – With economic models straining in every corner of the world, no economy
can afford to perpetuate the barriers facing women in the workforce, said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today at
the APEC Women and the Economy Summit in San Francisco.
The summit addressed access to capital and markets for women, building their capacities and skills, and supporting the
rise of women leaders in the public and private sectors. Participants also discussed innovation, green growth,
technology, entrepreneurship, and public-private partnerships.
Secretary Clinton said that by increasing women’s participation in the economy and enhancing their efficiency and
productivity, a dramatic impact on the competitiveness and growth of the region’s economies can be achieved.
Describing the enormous challenges economies face, Secretary Clinton said that economies must remove the structural and
social impediments to achieve full parity for women in the workforce.
“Laws, customs, and the values that fuel them all act as roadblocks to full inclusion,” said Clinton. “In the United
States and in every economy in APEC, millions of women are still sidelined, unable to find a meaningful place for
themselves in the formal workforce.
“The twenty-one economies of APEC are among the most dynamic in the world. Together, we represent more than half of
total global economic output. And more than 60 percent of women in the APEC economies are part of our formal
She said that economies can begin to close that gender gap by making it possible for more women to unleash their
potential as workers, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.
“We must commit to giving women access to capital so women entrepreneurs can turn their ideas into the small and medium
enterprises that are the source of so much growth and job creation in our economies,” she explained.
“We must examine and reform our legal and regulatory systems so women can avail themselves of the full range of
financial services. Such reforms can also help ensure that women are not forced to compromise on the well-being of their
children to pursue a career,” said Clinton.
Following the remarks, ministers and senior officials met in a High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the economy and
adopted the San Francisco Declaration. These policy recommendations will be delivered to the APEC Economic Leaders’
Meeting, scheduled for November 12-13, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The San Francisco Declaration is available here
Selected presentations can be viewed here: