Asia and the Pacific Islands

Asia Summit

Asia Summit

We were so proud to convene more than 250 women leaders from 24 countries across Asia when we held our fourth regional summit, Vital Voices of Asia: Women’s Leadership and Training Summit. We gathered in New Delhi, India, to discuss the critical role that women can, and must, play in moving their region forward in the areas of human rights, political participation, and economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.

It was a momentous time for us to find ourselves in Delhi — women in India have been making waves as drivers of economic growth, and are currently one million-strong as representatives in the Panchayat, or village councils of the country. Yet, there remains significant room for improvement, not only in India, but throughout Asia — violence against women continues to inhibit women’s full participation in society, access to credit is a challenge for many emerging entrepreneurs, and despite their presence in local bodies, women are struggling to rise to national and federal parliaments.

The leaders we brought together, diverse in areas of expertise, culture, and generation, represent some of the most courageous, innovative and determined I have ever known. They are pioneering women who take on the dangerous human trafficking trade, advocate for and achieve the adoption of landmark domestic violence laws, and expand economic opportunity for all. Read more.

Read daily coverage of Vital Voices of Asia: Women's Leadership and Training Summit.

View photos from the three-day summit in New Delhi, India.

View agendas from the summit and breakout tracks.


About Vital Voices of Asia: Women's Leadership and Training Summit

South Asian and East Asian Pacific countries have made steady progress toward advancing women’s leadership. But challenges remain — among the eight world regions analyzed in the Global Gender Gap Index and female educational attainment, Asia ranks sixth. On the economic participation of women, the region ranks seventh.

September 14-17, in partnership with the U.S. government and corporate sponsors, we hosted Vital Voices of Asia, a regional summit and training program in New Delhi, India. The summit called attention to the critical role women in South Asia and East Asia Pacific can and must play in improving the region’s social, political and economic growth.

Delegations of women leaders from 20 countries across Asia were selected to attend the summit. They are social service providers, media professionals, lawyers, parliamentarians and small business owners.

Each participant engaged in targeted trainings and strategy sessions as a member of one of three tracks:

  • Women as an Economic Force
  • Women in Political Leadership and Public Life
  • Safeguarding Women’s Human Rights: Combating Violence Against Women

The sessions highlighted challenges, shared best practices and developed new ideas and action plans for future programs to be implemented through ongoing initiatives for South Asia and East Asia Pacific. 

Following the summit, Vital Voices will continue to foster the growth of our network of women leaders throughout the region. Their expanded leadership capacities will result in strengthened, vibrant civil societies and more stable democracies and economies.