The annual APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize is now accepting applications for outstanding research work that strives to improve women’s health and economic well-being, and charts the way for more inclusive growth. The winning entry will receive USD 20,000 and the two runners-up will receive USD 5,000 each.
The prize, first launched during APEC 2019 in Chile with the support of Merck, aims to encourage the development and usage of sex-disaggregated data and promote gender-based research within APEC.
As women across the world were hit especially hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those who serve as unpaid caregivers, more research is needed to support solutions and advancements that allow women to stay in the workforce as the world rebounds.
“We know that women in the region are overrepresented in industries hit hard by the pandemic—food, services, hospitality and tourism, to name a few,” said Renee Graham, the Chair of APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy. “While our focus is to narrow disparity and improve women’s economic participation, we must also ensure that we pay attention to women’s health, safety and well-being.”
Thailand, host economy of APEC 2022, is prioritizing inequality and imbalance this year by integrating inclusivity and sustainability objectives in tandem with economic goals.
“To ensure an inclusive recovery from COVID-19, which has disproportionately impacted women and girls, we must implement evidence-based, gender-sensitive policies,” said Kannika Charoenluk of Thailand’s Ministry of Social Development and Human Security. “Original research, backed by data and evidence, will be crucial in ensuring a gender-intentional recovery and future growth model.”
Since its inception in 2015, the APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies initiative has improved women’s health through public-private partnerships.
One key outcome has been the cross-sector collaboration in creating a policy toolkit—a compendium of the issues, actions, and implementing elements for improving women’s health across five areas. The areas are: workplace health and safety; health awareness and access; sexual and reproductive health; gender-based violence; and work-life balance.
Applicants to the 2022 APEC Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Research Prize can be individuals or teams, with the stipulation that one official participant must represent an APEC member economy.
Applicants do not need to come from academia, as long as the research is evidence-based and addresses at least one of the pillars outlined in the Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Policy Toolkit.
The prize winner may choose to present their research to APEC gender experts in the public and private sectors on the margins of the 2022 APEC Women and the Economy Forum, hosted by Thailand.
“Now more than ever, we need to promote research that supports our collective effort in alleviating the economic burdens women face in the workforce,” said Hong Chow, Executive Vice President and Head of China and International of Merck Healthcare.
“By using science, we can provide evidence-based information to policymakers and business leaders so that the right measures get implemented to improve women’s health so women can join and rise in the workforce,” she concluded.
Interested candidates may access the prize application form through this link. The application deadline is Tuesday, 31 May 2022.