Delegates from Southeast Asian countries sought on Thursday to ensure the long-term economic well-being of women as essential to achieving sustainable development in the region.
Delegates were expected to discuss ways to strengthen regional cooperation for the advancement of women in ASEAN countries.
"The need to deliberate, identify and monitor ways to ensure that globalisation is a positive force for reducing poverty and improving the lives of women" was stressed by Yu-Foo Yee Shoon, Singapore's minister of state for community development, while opening the fifth meeting of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Committee on Women.
"This is particularly urgent for rural women and those that have fallen by the wayside as a result of structural changes," she said.
Delegates from all 10 ASEAN countries are participating in the two-day event in Singapore.
They "are battling new vulnerabilities such as isolation, exploitation, exhaustion from shouldering double if not triple burdens of work and home responsibilities, domestic violence and trafficking," the minister said.
The committee monitors progress made by the member countries in implementing priorities identified for the advancement of women in the region.