The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation

Improving Lives
Expanding Opportunities

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Women's Rights and Personal Security

For more than half a century, The Asia Foundation has been a leader in helping women to realize their potential. We believe that investing in women fundamentally strengthens families and societies. Our Women's Empowerment Program develops women's leadership, strengthens women's organizations, increases women's rights and ensures their personal security, and creates new political and economic opportunities for women across the Asia-Pacific region.  

Women across the region are still denied their rights under the law and in practice. Strengthening women’s legal rights has been a hallmark of the Foundation’s work for decades. The Foundation supports projects to increase both the demand and supply side of women’s rights and access to justice. The Foundation supports legal rights education for women, legal aid to enable them to claim their rights, and supports local efforts to reform laws and policies that discriminate against women and increase government accountability on enforcement.

Trafficking in persons is a high priority issue for the Foundation because it is a compelling human rights problem and a multi-faceted governance issue that is both exacerbated by and contributes to weak legal structures and public corruption. The Asia Foundation brings distinctive strengths to combating trafficking by directly addressing the governance issues that surround the incidence of trafficking and by promoting multi-faceted, integrated approaches to respond to it. Foundation programs empower the vulnerable to better protect themselves, both with safe migration and legal rights information and with interventions to improve their economic position.

In no country in Asia are women entirely safe from the threat of domestic violence. Domestic violence is a human rights issue, but it is also a problem with wide-ranging socio-economic consequences. Even where laws exist, often inaccessible legal systems and societal attitudes add to the trauma experienced by victims of violence. The Foundation’s pivotal support across the region has resulted in some major achievements, including passage of a domestic violence law in Mongolia and passage of a comprehensive women’s bill in Laos that includes trafficking and violence against women.

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