The Women 20 engagement group (W20) urged the leaders of the G20 to fulfill their previous promises to transform empowerment, economic and social equality into a tangible reality.
The group convened over a two-day virtual meeting, which started on Wednesday, as part of the preparatory meetings held ahead of the G20 summit in November. The W20 delivered its final list of recommendations to the representative of the G20 presidency, Dr. Majed Al-Qasabi, the Saudi Minister of Trade.
The group highlighted several key measures to accelerate the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, including ensuring that the G20 achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development agenda and the goal of strong, sustainable and balanced growth (SSBG) by supporting the social and economic empowerment of women.
The participants agreed that the pandemic should encourage the G20 countries to reset the rhythm of their economies by planning a recovery based on the principle of inclusiveness and recognition of the importance of the full and equitable participation of women in economic activity.
In this regard, the Saudi chair of the W20 Dr. Thoraya Obeid stressed the importance of taking quick measures.
“If urgent measures are not taken, the pandemic will continue to exacerbate gender inequality, expose weaknesses that are deeply rooted in social, political and economic systems, and undermine any previously achieved gains in the field of equality over the recent decades,” Obeid said.
The group’s closing statement focused on the importance of ensuring equal representation of women at all levels of decision-making in the private and public sectors, and adopting gender-sensitive financial plans with information on impact assessments to support an inclusive workforce and significantly increase investment in social infrastructure to create jobs and achieve economic recovery.
In this context, the W20 called for “providing low-cost, high-quality care for children and the elderly, ensure the participation and access to education and training for women and girls, including online education.”
The group expressed concern over the lack of direct recognition from the leaders of the G20 of the impact of the pandemic on women and the need for national action in this regard.
So far, relief packages adopted by governments around the world and G20 data have failed to take into account the specific financial and institutional needs of women, the statement underlined.