Women 20 (W20), the women’s engagement group to the G20, challenged G20 leaders to live up to their promises of the past and make women’s economic equality a reality.
Laying out measures to expedite the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the W20 presented its Communiqué to H.E. Dr. Majid Alqassabi, Minister of Commerce, Chair of G20 Trade and Investment, representing the Presidency of the G20.
The pandemic provides an opportunity for G20 leaders to reset G20 economies based on the full and equitable participation of women.
“Unless urgent action is taken, the pandemic will continue to exacerbate gender inequalities, expose vulnerabilities, and roll back gains made on women’s equality. Women will be disproportionately negatively impacted and left to bear the brunt of a multidimensional crisis,” said Dr. Thoraya Obaid, W20 Chair.
“G20 leaders need to act now. If not this year, that has exposed the fissures in our cultures, policies, and public services, then when?”
Key measures G20 leaders should take immediately to expedite inclusive economic recovery:
- Ensure equal representation of women at all levels of decision-making in private and public sectors.
- Adopt gender-responsive fiscal planning to foster an inclusive workforce.
- Increase investment in social infrastructure – like child and dependent care, healthcare, education and training – to create jobs and build resilience.
- Implement social and income protection mechanisms that capture all workers, particularly in low-income countries.
- Stimulate women’s entrepreneurship by supporting the starting-up, scaling-up, and sustainability of women-owned businesses, particularly in the digital economy.
- Increase access to digital technology for women and girls, especially in remote and rural areas, through infrastructure, high-speed connectivity, and skills training.
- Partner with public and private financial institutions to develop easily accessible digital financial products.
- Fund research and collection of sex-disaggregated data on the course of the pandemic.
The W20 is concerned about the lack of direct recognition by G20 Leaders of the impact the pandemic and national responses are having on women. So far, national relief packages fail to account for the specific financial and institutional needs of women. The delivered Communiqué addresses these shortfalls to achieve lasting change for women globally.