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No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen

No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen was the title of the policy forum organized by Chatham House and took place on July 9-10 in London.

The title is not only eye catching, but also quite controversial. Is there anybody suggesting that we need to go back? This was addressed by the keynote speech of Arancha Gonzales, the Executive Director of International Trade Centre.

No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen

Other opening addresses were conducted by Susan Harris Rimmer who is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House and Associate Professor at Griffith University; Paola Subacchi who is Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House; and Julie Teigland who is the Chair of International Policy Forum and Managing partner of EY Germany, Switzerland and Austria as well as the Global Leader for EY’s Women Fast Forward Program.

Recap of G20 and G7 work was discussed under Susan Rimmer’s moderation with W20 Chair for Argentina – Susano Balbo; Canadian High Commissioner to London – Janice Charette; World Bank Group’s Senior Director for Gender – Caren Grown; and T20’s Taskforce Co-Chair for Gender Economic Equity – Margo Thomas.

No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen

Monika Queisser, the Head of Social Policy of OECD showed the progress towards the signed goal of the G20 countries, which was 25 by 25 – or the commitment of all G20 countries to decrease the gap between men and women by 25% in their countries until the year 2025. The chart showed that some of the countries have already surpassed the target, while some countries are going in the wrong direction, still a large group of countries exist in the chart need to speed up their work to catch the target of 25% decline in the gap of women versus men in employment life until 2025. Associate Fellow of Chatham House Mina Tokgöz moderated the panel where one of the proudest achiever in declining the gap among the G20 countries was represented by Joanna Roper – The Special Envoy for Gender Equality of Canada to United Kingdom. She elaborated on the methods they used on their way to success.

Closing the gap cannot be the only target but we also need to look at the quality of the jobs for women added Monika Queisser.

Caren Grown has importantly asserted that there is not only an employment gap but also a human capital gap between men and women. Long term development of human capital has been the determining factor for growth of the economies. So, this gap also needs to be closed. I very much believe in this issue and say education in every opportunity. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education has been in every W20 Communique and lifelong learning has been frequently mentioned in W20 texts.

Joanna Roper who assumes the responsibility for special Envoy for Gender Equality in UK has identified the problem as many girls are not going to schools and 2/3 of people who cannot read are women. UK has succeeded investing 120 million pounds for the education of girls.

HE Atsuko Nishimura, the Ambassador of Japan in charge of Women’s Issues, had news from the next year’s W20 meeting. She indicated that W20 meeting of Japan will be merged with WAW (World Assembly of Women) event of Japan where about 2,400 participants are expected to attend.

No Going Back: Making Gender Equality Happen

The participation of women in the economy is low. Further, the quality of jobs is not at the acceptable level both in terms of security as well as safety. Safe transportation is not accessible. The launch of WE-FI is expected to mobilize additional finance for women and expected to create new markets. An investment in the ecosystem of the countries is crucial. It is expected the multilateral development banks will work in the lowest income countries.

The Policy Forum was designed and managed by Stephane Dubois of Chatham House with great success and every year the progress and the improvement in the quality of the forum can easily be observed.

Very well done! No going back! Only progress is permitted, and we proudly see progress.

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