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Asian Women Parliamentarian Caucus (AWPC)

Women, Policy and Political Leadership

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Democratic development cannot take place without equal participation of women in all spheres of life, especially politics. As such in lieu of the need to promote female political leadership training and empowerment in Asia, the Regional Programme Dialogue Asia office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Singapore is committed to pursuing programmes to narrow the political gender gap.

Regional networks help to build on existing strategic knowledge and solidarity systems, especially for countries that lack adequate or any representation of women in politics. Women caucuses also help to unite women across party lines, offer opportunities to mainstream gender issues through legislation and provide oversight of government action in the work of parliament. The women’s caucus is also a platform to inform and encourage parliamentarians to use and benefit from the laws passed in their respective countries for stronger enforcement. In most instances, women’s caucuses do not receive parliamentary support such as financial resources or the meeting venues to organise.



With the support of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, a network of 40 Asian women parliamentarians have met annually since 2011 to promote, strengthen and develop female political leadership in the their respective countries through policy discussions and capacity building programmes. The AWPC, which was formally established in 2014 via a regional conference in Singapore, aims to achieve the following objectives:





  • Promote more robust engagements in policy issues by encouraging regional discussions on policies impacting women's leadership in Asia
  • Strengthen capacities of individual parliamentarians through networking, plenary sessions and skills upgrading workshops
  • Identify leadership challenges faced by female parliamentarians in Asia and provide adequate support through leadership training and policy workshops


Policy Focus

The meetings in the form of dialogue programmes and/or study trips, have also strategically addressed thematic policy concerns such as:







  • Migration and Human Trafficking
  • Anti-Corruption
  • Gender Mainstreaming in Policy Making
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Women’s political participation in parliaments, and more...


Past Programmes

In 2011, KAS Berlin and the Multinational Dialogue on Development Policy of KAS Brussels in conjunction with the KAS regional office in Singapore organised the inaugural dialogue programme: “Strengthening the role of women in politics in Asia” with women in politics, kick-starting what was to become a series of annual conferences within this focus group.

In 2013, KAS regional office in Singapore organised an International Women Parliamentarian Conference in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, which was inaugurated by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and attended by female politicians from both Asia and Europe.

Similarly in 2014, KAS regional office in Singapore partnered with the Singapore Committee for UN Women in organising a regional conference in Singapore, attended by delegates from 18 different Asian countries. This conference concluded with the formalisation of a regional caucus for female parliamentarians in Asia called the Asian Women Parliamentarian Caucus (AWPC).

In 2015, the AWPC network met twice – once in Asia and once in Europe. The first meeting was held end June, in Taipei, Taiwan, where the discussion was centred on best practices in women’s empowerment – case of Taiwan – alongside the crucial discussion on the post-MDGs agenda. The second meeting in Brussels, Belgium took place in mid-November with the cooperation of KAS Brussels Multinational Dialogue on Development Policy and MEP Teresa Jimenez-Becerril’s office, where the focus was on “Women Empowerment in Asia and Europe”, with site visits to EU institutions, NATO and meetings with stakeholders involved in democracy building in Asia.

In 2016, the members met in Copenhagen, Denmark to continue the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) Agenda discussion at the 4th International Women Deliver Conference. Partnering with the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development (EPFPD), AWPC parliamentarians also engaged in the daily parliamentary forums where policy advancements across the globe, in women's and children's health as well as gender equality were shared and discussed.

In 2017, AWPC convened again in Singapore to discuss "The World in 2030: Women, Development and Policy" with a focus on addressing "The Future of Human Trafficking in Asia" with expert resource persons from the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence (GCPSE) and the region. Invited members also presented "Arising Issues In Women, Development and Policy in Asia Pacific" at a panel discussion hosted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). All in all, the discussion on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) look to continue with a follow up meeting in July 2018.

In 2018, AWPC members met in Yangon to discuss "Women, Education and Economic Empowerment- Turning Actions into Progress". In this two day event our AWPC members met heads of business networks, women organizations and other representative to discuss about the economic empowerment of women in the region. Our AWPC members learned about the work of other stakeholders in the region and discussed on how they could work together to reinforce synergies and increase impact in the region.

In 2019, AWPC meeting focus was on  “Engaging Civil Society Organisation - Advocating Women’s Rights and Participation”; looking at   the confluence on SGD 16* and how  CSO and women parliamentarians can engage together to increase the rights and participation of women . Our parliamentarins engaged with 35 civil society groups to  discussed various issue from migration, labour  rights to peace , security and justice. With the slogan of the conference "We don’t wait for change, we make the change”, this years AWPC  meeting in Hong Kong became a platform  where two major stakeholders of the society  got an unique opportunity to have  a dialogue on empowering women in the region.

In 2020 due to the pandemic, our AWPC network members held series of internal online meetings . We also invited our Asian Women Parliamentarian Caucus members to participate in a AWPC video series on “Crisis, Pandemics and Gender Equality”.  Through these series our network members raised awareness, reflected upon  women’s needs, promoted women’s leadership and give policy recommendations that could link equality, health and the economy. (Please visit our facebook page at AWPC Video series).

In 2021, in cooperation with our office in Brussels  our AWPC parliamentarians participated in a #advocacy campaign on  "Women's Political Participation – The State of Play in Asia"  which  raised awareness about the situation of women parliamentarians in Asia. Our network members  provided their perspectives explaining how they assess the state of gender equality in their country's politics, what are the main obstacles to equal #representation, and what foreign actors - such as the #EU - could do to support greater inclusion (Watch the full series on YT: AWPC Advocacy Campaign)

In 2022, continuing the discussion on The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the AWPC caucus met to discuss the findings of our of our recent publication “Substantive Representation of women in Asian Parliaments: A Comparative Study”.  Delegates from 14 countries came  together to learn about the latest findings of our publication "Substantive Representation of women in Asian Parliaments”. The authors not only presented their research but also engaged in  a dialogue with the AWPC members on their experience on substantive representation  in their respective parliaments discussed and how SDG 5 can be achieved throughout Asia.


The Asian Women Parliamentarian Caucus (AWPC) meeting  of 2023 focused on the National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” of Sri Lanka.   The “National Policy on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment” which was drafted under the leadership of the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus in Parliament of Sri Lanka and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers provides the vision to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment  to improve the overall quality of life for all people.

This gender policy was initiated after a AWPC meeting with representatives of the European External Action in 2021. In order to understand the impact of the gender policy in Sri Lanka,   the Parliament of Colombo invited KAS to host its annual AWPC meeting in Sri Lanka.

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Megha Sarmah

Megha Sarmah

Programme Manager, Agenda 2030 +65 6603 6165
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