- Introduction with some facts.
- Mention significance of women participation.
- What are the current G20 priorities in women empowerment ?
- Describe G20’s role in driving women-led growth.
- Conclusion with way forward.
The world is going through turbulent times with pandemic, growing geopolitical rivalry, economic downturn, social inequality and climate change. Notwithstanding the ongoing deliberations on the role of women, the world remains largely led by men. World Bank suggests that 2.4 billion working age women lack equal economic rights. Acc. to Global Gender Gap Report 2021, closing the global gender gap has increased from 99.5 years to 135.6 years due to the pandemic effect.
Significance of women participation: objective data shows that including women into political & economic processes significantly ameliorates overall outcomes. Over the past 5 years, women constituted only 14% of peace negotiators, but decreased the risk of failing peace agreement by 64%. The full inclusion of women into economic process can make the world economy grow US$ 12 trillion by 2025. Gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to gain financial returns on their activities. Also, women-led countries have demonstrated successful national policies in countering Covid-19.
Current G20 priorities on women empowerment: Women20 will focus on 4 broader issues – eradicating policy discrimination, supporting women-owned and managed MSMEs, empowering girls & women from rural areas & those with disabilities, and enhancing health for gender prosperity. The attention to social aspects of women participation and well-being of less advantageous sections showcases the importance of global responsibility to enact necessary measures to overcome global imbalances.
Role of G20 in driving women-led growth: G20 hold the strategic role in securing future global economic growth and prosperity. It has strived to ensure equality of opportunities between men and women. G20 began playing close attention to women empowerment issues from the 2012 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. In 2013, G20 agreed to jointly create “Finances for Women” portal with the IFC to steer women’s access to financial services. In 2014, through the Brisbane Commitments, G20 tried to ensure that the male-female employment gap is reduced by 25% by 2025. These decisions set the stage for Women20 Initiative. A wider and more active G20 deliberation is seen in various outreach processes, with Women20 and Women Empower Initiatives leading the way to secure women’s rights & streamlining the needed commitments into the official process.
Since its creation, Women20 has greatly encouraged a global understanding of equity and equality of opportunities for men & women. It allowed practical exchange of best practices, highlighted weaknesses in national approaches and laid the way for higher awareness of most urgent women issues.
Conclusion: A majority of women hold CEO positions in Russian firms with net sales of under US$ 10 million, while only 6.5% of the country’s top 200 companies are led by women. Among MSMEs, over 1/3rd are women-owned with 90% in socially-oriented business. Investing in and supporting such businesses will have strong economic effects with social dividends. Easing the legal requirements, tax incentives, priority access to soft credit lines, and state sponsored educational-skilling can create a solid foundation for economic recovery. While these issues are tackled at varying degrees at the national levels, the G20 could provide the necessary framework for a multi-faceted support to women led economic recovery.