In 2016, Asia Democracy Research Network (ADRN) selected corruption, shrinking civic space, and gender inequality as the common challenges across Asia that continue to plague and work against deepening the quality of democracy. 

Against this background, ADRN published this special report to evaluate the current state of gender equality in the region by studying the strengths and weaknesses of each country’s mechanisms including law and regulations, public participation, and public governance. The report investigates pressing, contemporary questions such as: What is the state of gender equality in Asia? To what extent has each country achieved the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on gender equality? How can gender equality in Asia be strengthened?

Drawing on a rich array of resources and data, this report offers country-specific analyses, highlights areas of improvement, and suggests policy recommendations for strengthening gender equality in Asia.

Quotes from the Paper 
“Women have a lower participation rate than men in politics and occupy fewer decision-making positions. The most important reason for these differences is people’s values. The majority of people do not accept women as leaders, especially in decision-making positions. Thai culture also gives women the responsibility of caring for their families, including child-raising duties. Thus, they do not have adequate time or opportunity to participate in social activities. (…) There are several mechanisms used to promote gender equality such as laws, policy, and the latest constitution. (…) The constitutional framework works to strengthen gender equality, but in terms of translating law and policy into practice there is still a big gap." - King Prajadhipok’s Institute

"Taiwan has pursued gender equality for almost three decades. (…) Yet, in this Sustainable Development Goals 5 review, a number of issues have been identified as targets for improvement, such as some regulations in urgent need of revision, the cultivation of a gender-friendly culture in various spheres including the corporate world, and the full implementation of gender equality policies. Taiwan is quite unique in terms of the enthusiastic involvement of numerous NGOs in its gender equality campaign. (…) Taiwan's government is also genuinely sincere in its efforts to comply with international practices of scheduled reviews on various covenants to fulfill the objectives within each agreement." - Taiwan Foundation for Democracy

"The threats to democracy presented in this paper are directly related to women's capacity (or lack thereof) to attain equality and non-discrimination. (…) Advocates recognize that moving forward towards gender equality is an ongoing struggle. Challenges include not only influencing policymakers, institutionalizing gains, and ensuring real implementation of laws and policies, but also strengthening women's groups by continuing to organize, build alliances, sharpen their strategies, and consolidate their ranks." - The International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance

"Under Pakistan's Constitution, domestic laws, and international commitments, it is the duty of the State to investigate and prosecute violence against women as an obligation towards women’s rights. (…) Increasing the availability of shelters for at-risk women and holding State parties accountable for the failure to act with due diligence in cases of women's rights violations are the first steps needed ensure gender-sensitive rights to life and physical and mental integrity." - Jinnah Institute

Various researchers from King Prajadhipok’s Institute, Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, International Center for Innovation, Transformation and Excellence in Governance, and Jinnah Institute contributed to the research and writing of each report. 

EAI provided support in the form of typesetting and proofreading for the production of the reports.