The W20 India held its inception meeting on February 27-28, 2023, in Chatrapati Sambhajinagar (formerly known as Aurangabad), Maharashtra.
The speakers at the inauguration session were
Dr. Sandhya Purecha, Chair of W20 India
Mr. Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, India
Dr. Bhagwat Krishanrao Karad, Minister of State for Finance, Government of India
Mrs. Smriti Z Irani, Minister of Women & Child Development and Minority Affairs, Government of India
Mr. Raosaheb Danve, Minister of State for Railways, Coal & Mines, Government of India
Dr. Gülden Türktan, Founding Chair of the W20,
Mr. Atul Save, Minister of Co-operation and OBC Welfare, Government of Maharashtra
Ms. Dharitri Patnaik, Chief Coordinator, W20
My speech at the meeting was as follows:
I am honoured and very proud to address the audience in the W20 inception meeting organized under the G20 presidency of India. I wish to convey my thanks to the G20 and the W20 Presidency of India for this opportunity.
The W20 had its first ever inception in Brisbane, Australia in 2014. The G20 governments had signed their communiqué by putting the target of 25 by 25 where each country has signed to close the gap between a men and women in their respective countries by 25 % until the year 2025. This declaration had found support from research that had said if we include women in our respective economies, we can create in total one more America and one more China in the world.
Further research had also proven that the growth we had been seen in the world, keeps falling back. What we need is sustainable growth not just growth. No going back is crucial. On the other hand, women are an impetus for sustainable growth. If we can give room to women, they can create wonders first by attaining sustainable growth.
During the G20 presidency of Turkiye, we had succeeded in forming the W20 in G20 to create policies for inclusion of women within governmental policy making.
In 2015 we had a warm welcome from all the G20 countries. We had said women in leadership in private and governmental positions and women’s all kind of inclusion in the economy. I received the comment that I am a dreamer.
In 2016 we had China presidency. All China Women Federation was leading all the W20 work together with valuable academicians to include digital inclusion of women on top of economic and financial inclusion.
In 2018 we had Argentina’s presidency picking up from 2015 declaration the rural women and women in agriculture as well as indigenous women in decision making.
In 2017 we had German presidency here everything was done the right way. And I must remember to tell you that Chancellor Merkel attended the W20 meeting 3 times during the W20 Summit and G20 declaration had half a page of the W20 policy proposals signed by our government leaders.
When we were in Japan in 2019, we had women’s inclusion at all levels as well as women entrepreneurship and childcare were thoroughly discussed.
In 2020, during the presidency of Saudi Arabia we had seen a very good re-cap of all the work and a leadership in policy making. Together with all the work and progress, we saw that Covid 19 was erasing all the achievements of the W20 to close the gender gap.
In 2021 in Rome, Italy we had women’s health included in our work in the midst of an international health crises and a road map worked out. Women’s Entrepreneurship found its way to the chapeau crossing all the pillars to empower women at all levels and all stratifications.
Last year in 2022 in Indonesia we had recover together motto, good groundwork for all SDG’s was enacted. We had to recover from the gap that was extended by the economic crises that had accompanied the pandemic.
This year in India, which is a visually and historically a magnificent country, in short incredible India, with about 1.4 billion people, we can create a magnificent legacy for more and more women in outreaching to the economy and hence to income.
I believe we can do that by way of promoting universal basic education and training especially for women.
And my further comment is as follows:
According to the legends in the area one spiritual power was Tara and she was at least the equal to her male counterparts. In some regions Tara’s status is of a supreme goddess or female buddha. If one can believe in wisdom of Tara at that time, we now can certainly believe in women’s wisdom and agree on women led development for our respective economies.