Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market could grow to more than $260 billion by 2030 if the major online shopping market Do more to support and enable women entrepreneurs, a new report from International Finance Corporation found that
The “anonymity” of e-commerce has reduced many of the barriers to entry faced by women and allowed them to thrive in new sectors, said Amy Luinstra, IFC’s Gender Program Manager, East Asia & Pacific. with CNBC on Thursday
Still, many inequalities faced by women in traditional retail spaces. “It̵7;s pouring into the online world,” she said, such as access to funding.
Luinstra urges big e-commerce players to do more to support women traders and seize market opportunities.
This includes expanding funding for women. Training and encouraging them to participate in higher value sectors such as electronics, she said.
“For a platform with financial options That’s a great way to attract more women and help them grow. By making sure they are aware of the financing offers and that they can take advantage of them,” Luinstra told CNBC Box Asia’s Squawk.”
A woman wears a protective mask while waiting for customers inside her store in Jakarta. Indonesia On Tuesday, March 31, 2020
NurPhoto | Getty Images
Her comments go against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. which is said to give women a disproportionate disadvantage.
The IFC report, which compiles data from Southeast Asian e-commerce site Lazada, found that in 2019 women are on track to achieve gender equality in e-commerce. But despite the rapid increase in online retailing in recent years, The additional care duties and time constraints faced by women also made progress in backing down.
“Before the epidemic women occupy In some cases it sells better than men. or even the men participating in the project,” Luinstra said.
In the Philippines, for example, women previously accounted for 64% of sellers on Lazada sites. But sales fell 27 percent during the pandemic, the report said.
“That has changed under the epidemic. And that’s how we started finding gaps. and the opportunity to close that gap That adds up to a massive $280 billion,” she said, referring to the market opportunities cited in the report.