This publication is prepared as a reference paper for the forthcoming High Level Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Jakarta Declaration and Plan of Action and the Regional Implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action to be held in Bangkok from 26 to 29 October 1999. The meeting will prepare for a special session of the United Nations General Assembly entitled "Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development and Peace for the Twenty-first Century" to be held in New York from 5 to 9 June 2000.
This publication, therefore, aims at providing statistical information concerning the extent to which women have participated in and contributed to changes in the social and economic conditions of the countries in the Asian and Pacific region. It is an update of the ESCAP publication entitled "Statistical Compendium on Women in Asia and the Pacific", which was published in 1994.1 While in essence pursuing the same aim as the latter, the present publication incorporate certain new features, as indicated below.
Firstly, although statistics relating to women are the main theme of the publication, statistics on men are also given so that an assessment of the relative status of women and men can be made.
Secondly, the publication provides a consistent set of demographic estimates and projections (i.e. total population by sex and age, labour force by sex, age and major industry division, illiterate population by sex and maternal mortality). They are based on the same sex and age structure of population as currently assessed by the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat.
Thirdly, tables on new topics of interest (e.g. HIV/AIDS, refugees, tobacco use) have been included. Nevertheless, some gaps remain such as statistical data on violence against women, women in the informal sector, women's access to credit.
Fourthly, wherever appropriate, aggregations of all ESCAP countries, sub-regions and economic groups are given in the tables.
Fifthly, some selected projection data are also given in a separate section of the publication.