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Asia Foundation and CSIS Host Trilateral Dialogue on Advancing Women’s Economic Opportunities

Washington, DC, September 29, 2016 — This week, The Asia Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) hosted a trilateral dialogue on Advancing Women’s Economic Opportunities: Lessons from Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Held at CSIS headquarters on September 27, the event moderated by the Foundation’s Acting Director of Women’s programs Eileen Pennington featured experts from the three countries who shared their strategies to empower women economically, and compared lessons and best practices.


Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell opened the event which featured Founder and President of Emi Kiyota; Professor of Ewha Womans University and Former CEO of Arirang International Broadcasting Corporation Jie-ae Sohn; President of Gap Foundation & SVP of Global Sustainability for Gap, Inc. Dan Henkle; and William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy and Senior Adviser on Asian Economics CSIS Matthew P. Goodman.

As one of the first female CEOs in Korea, Professor Sohn noted the challenges that young women in South Korea face when entering the workforce: “In Korea, the number of women going into higher education has outpaced men for quite some time. So a lot more women are going into education. In educational levels women are ahead of the game, but once they try to enter the workforce then it’s a different game altogether… My worry is that when hard times fall, women get hurt the most,” said Sohn. She also spoke on how her university is working to change the perceptions of hiring practices in Korea. Watch the full forum here.

The Asia Foundation is at the forefront of empowering women across Asia. The Foundation’s projects expand opportunities for women through education, entrepreneurship, and vocational training, providing women the knowledge and skills to earn an income and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. In the workplace, the Foundation addresses constraints faced by women entrepreneurs by providing networking opportunities, mentoring, access to information and credit, and business management training, the programs foster environments where women can advocate for improved policies.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

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