Invest in Early Childhood Development to Reduce Poverty
Says UNICEF HK Chairman Judy Chen at APEC Women Leadership Forum

 

Invest in Early Childhood Development to Reduce Poverty
Says UNICEF HK Chairman Judy Chen at APEC Women Leadership Forum

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Themed “The Balanced Power”, the APEC Women Leadership Forum 2019 saw the participation of influential and representative women from the Asia-Pacific region.

© UNICEF HK/2019

Hong Kong, 19 May 2019 –  On the heels of her appearance at the Boao Forum in March, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK), Judy Chen, made another appearance at an international event to voice out for women’s empowerment and child rights.

At the APEC Women Leadership Forum 2019 in Shanghai last Friday (17 May), Ms Chen noted that investing in early childhood development could go a long way in reducing poverty around the world. Also, she urged governments and corporates to keep an open mind and leverage shared value partnerships to achieve the goal with innovative measures.

Themed “The Balanced Power”, the forum saw the participation of influential and representative women from the Asia-Pacific region. Among them was Ms Chen, where she spoke at the session titled “Sharing a Better Word: Poverty Reduction and Innovation”. She said, “Infants and young children are always the most vulnerable in terms of the impacts brought by the vicious cycle of structural poverty.”

“Studies have shown benefits in terms of a higher future wage of US$6.4 to US$17.6 per US dollar invested in quality early childhood development. As such, to break the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality, while promoting economic development at the same time, countries should be investing in early childhood development,” continued Ms Chen. “Children are our future; we need to first tackle child poverty in order to alleviate global poverty head on.”

Ms Chen also took the opportunity to call on governments and corporates to share the responsibility of child development and realize UNICEF’s Twin Policy with undogmatic thinking and through shared value partnerships. In particular, there has to be a supportive working environment for working mothers and more innovative family-friendly policies to empower women’s economic participation during the infancy stage of their children and balance the demands of work and early childhood development. UNICEF is committed to seeking out shared value partners who are willing to work together to defend child rights.

The APEC Women Leadership Forum 2019 was hosted by the China Chamber of International Commerce, APEC Business Advisory Council and APEC China Business Council.

 

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 © UNICEF HK/2019

Ms Chen (right) spoke at the session titled “Sharing a Better Word: Poverty Reduction and Innovation”. She said, “Children are our future; we need to first tackle child poverty in order to alleviate global poverty head on.”

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