Women Education in ASEAN
During the Pre-Modern of Southeast Asia, the 11 countries that contains over 550 million population are having great linguistic and cultural diversity, in which the region is characterized by the moderately fortunate position of women in contrast with the East or South Asia. A traditional way of seeing or we can call as gender stereotype are always mentioned about a daughter was born to be a housewife and someone’s’ wife who does not need to have high education, along with a proverb that stated by men are gold and women are just a white piece of cloth, so on and so forth. Today, these kind of ideas are still in practices at some rural areas of ASEAN countries; especially, the developing ones.
Additionally, during the modern era with the formation of ASEAN since 1967, women have made great progresses in their contribution to the growth and prosperity of ASEAN nations. Despite of cultural diversity and fluctuating levels of socio-economic development across the region, women has been achieved through public legislation and efforts by the private sector and civil society. With this fact, there is a question raised whether going back to school is the key to accelerating women’s progress or not?
According to Mildred & Dilys (2018) who are the managing director and advisory leader of Ernst & Young Advisory Pte. Ltd stated in Women in ASEAN report that education for women in ASEAN has made great enhancement for the past 50 years, with the narrow across most educational levels and girls accomplishing higher levels of the overall enrollment of gender gap. Nevertheless, still in progress to ensure that women could reach their full potential in ASEAN, with progress to be made in the access to and quality of education, and its relevance to market needs. As digital becomes more embedded across industries, a higher number of female graduates need to be prepared for STEM professions are given the rapid technological shifts and rise of industry automation, alongside the emphasis on infrastructure development in many emerging ASEAN economies. Surprisingly, in the region’s most developed economies, access to education can be unequal. Just like in Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia, girls have lower expectations of securing a career in STEM from a young age, with women across the region are underrepresented in sectors like engineering.
Alternatively, Women in ASEAN still continue to be disregarded as a source of talent and face multiple challenges from accessing to employment and leadership positions, equality wage to balance work as well as family responsibilities. In order to secure the future of women in ASEAN, It is necessary to secure the flexibility of ASEAN communities and economies. Governments and corporations in ASEAN can further accelerate the advancement of women through policies that deliver better benefits and incentives for working women and provide training for those entering the workforce.