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Women 20 Meeting Communiqué 2015, Istanbul, Turkey

We, the delegates of the first ever W20 Summit, gathered together in Istanbul on 16-17 October 2015, after having thoroughly discussed different aspects of the women related issues of global economy  indicated in the W20’s “Priority Policy Paper”, agreed to put forward the following set of policy recommendations to support the G20 leaders in their ongoing work to achieve gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.

In order to achieve the gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as well as to reach the target of reducing the gap in participation rates between men and women set by G20 Leaders in Brisbane, Australia in 2014, we call on the G20 Leaders to:

1-Address women’s economic empowerment through strengthening linkages between education, employment and entrepreneurship 

Strengthening the linkages between education, employment and entrepreneurship is fundamental for economic growth and women’s social rights. There will always be a gap when these are not systematically linked to one another in a continuous and structured form. Collaboration and cooperation among the stakeholders will strengthen this pipeline. Joint planning between the government, private sector and academia will identify the market needs, minimize the skills mismatch and address demand and supply side constraints faced by women.

Girls and boys should have equal access to good quality education as well as equal rights and opportunities to successfully complete schooling and to make educational choices.

Women of all ages need to gain access to vocational education, lifelong learning or re-training especially focusing on STEAM training, innovation and improvement of financial, managerial and social skills.

Governmental funds for women start-ups and tax incentives for women businesses are also essential. To foster gender equality and women’s empowerment in the private sector, companies should join and implement the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and consequently report on the progress.

2-Support work and life balance by developing and/or improving infrastructural mechanisms for social care (child, elderly, sick and disable care) 

The governments should allocate resources and provide incentives, including tax incentives, to create new jobs in order to build an effective infrastructure for social care. Care institution workers should be specialized professional care givers rather than unpaid domestic care workers. Access to training and improving the qualifications of professional care workers should be made available for people of all legal working ages. Given that domestic and community care work is expected to continue, finding a solution to the social security coverage of unpaid care workers is a necessity.

The reduction of taxes both for care work employees and business owners should be implemented by the governments. Programs should be developed to strengthen family supportive ability by providing a legal framework for all flexible forms of decent work with secure job conditions. Sustaining work and life balance is a social responsibility for both men and women. Nurturing and parenting, the functions carried out by men and/or women, have to be recognized as a social value and the responsibility must be shared amongst the family, state, employer and society. To this end, a cultural change should be stimulated to share the burden between parents. 

3-Increase the number of women both in public and private sector leadership positions 

The participation of women in top decision making positions in the government, including elected representatives and in the private sector needs to be enhanced through quotas or voluntary measurable targets that are reported and encouraged publicly.

G20 members should set nationally determined gender targets for the board of directors of joint stock companies. After a grace period of two years, the target for the under-represented gender should be set to no less than 25% per annum or their current national level should be improved by at least 25% per year.

4-Ensure women’s access to financial and productive assets as well as to markets 

Women’s access to finance, market opportunities, business and financial training should be supported. Several banks in partnership with NGOs and women’s business associations have successfully offered women these services. Widespread adoption of these business models should be encouraged by producing national level, sex- disaggregated, demand and supply side data. This will ensure that effectiveness of financial inclusion policies is tracked.

We also encourage governments and  the private sector to:

  1. i)supportplatforms that share best practice business models,
  2. ii)addresslegal and financial system infrastructure constraints such as access to collateral,

iii) encourage public and private procurement goals for women owned SME’s,

  1. iv)increasewomen entrepreneurial engagement with international trade associations and
  2. v)developecosystem actors such as National Business Associations to deliver education, enable peer-to-peer mentoring and advocate for policy change.

5-Eliminate workplace discrimination, enforce legal rights and promote equal opportunities 

Governments should enforce legislation and abolish gender related legal restrictions. Furthermore, all stakeholders should promote equal opportunities and improve social dialogue that would enable equal access to the labor market, with fair treatment with respect to gender in recruitment, training, promotions, rights for grievance, including harassment.

A generally accepted code of conduct should be established across all G20 members to promote equal opportunity and fair treatment model based on best practices of private sector companies or governments.

A G20-wide generally accepted code of conduct should be adopted to eliminate workplace discrimination. An equal opportunity and fair treatment model should be based on the best practices of private sector companies and governments.

It is necessary to strengthen the legal framework and its enforcement, promote pay transparency and tackle stereotypes, segregation and indirect discrimination in the labor market.

G20 leaders should improve employment outcomes for women by strengthening access to effective and active labor market policies. To that end, W20 will propose close collaboration with the G20 Employment Working Group on the Policy Priorities on labor income share and inequalities.

6-Strengthen women’s economic, social and political networks 

Business organizations, associations and networks are multipliers in terms of raising awareness about policies and opportunities. Such networks amplify success, as well as channel and reinforce collective voice of women. In this regard, building networks should be encouraged.

G20 governments should support the participation of W20 members in the relevant G20 meetings. 

7-Support women-owned enterprises and innovation 

To support women-owned enterprises grow, innovate and internationalize, governments should improve access to finance, training programs, mentoring, coaching and networks. Policies targeting sourcing from companies owned by women need to be adopted and implemented by governments and companies.

W20 will develop definitions for various types of women-owned businesses addressing different ownership structures and widely promote them.

Governments should implement policies delivering STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) education at all levels, together with innovation training and social skills development including communication skills to better access and better use technology.

8-Promote women’s leadership in creating sustainable consumption patterns and green growth 

Governments should create and scale up opportunities to women’s leadership and employment to protect the environment and address the impacts of climate change. This includes greater participation and economic empowerment of women in renewable energy solutions, sustainable and organic farming production, and in projects financed by the green climate fund for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Programs to enhance investment in women-owned enterprises and job creation for women in green growth industries should be designed and implemented. Women’s participation in the decision making bodies of green funds should be increased.

9-Deliver adequate social protection and improve working conditions for women 

Noting that women are overly represented in informal, vulnerable and precarious employment, the working conditions need to be improved and decent work opportunities must be provided. Social security systems must be extended to cover new forms of employment, like job sharing and flexible decent jobs, homebased employment in accordance with the evolving work place patterns. Furthermore, the number of women without a social security scheme needs to be significantly reduced.  Social protection programs should address specific women related issues such as improving real incomes and capabilities and to prevent deprivation of pensions and other benefits.

The outputs of the G20 Employment Working Group on social protection and the Policy Priorities on labor income share and inequalities to address specific issues that relate to women should be extended. Women experiencing multiple discrimination on grounds such as age, disability and/or ethnicity should be particularly addressed.

10- In order to develop a monitoring framework, based on available data sets and empirical studies, the G20 should develop a scorecard using the following indicators: 

i.Labor force participation rate: Female-to-male ratio of labor-force participation rate (20%)

ii.Professional and technical jobs: Female-to-male ratio of representation in professional and technical jobs (10%)

iii.Perceived wage gap for similar work: Female-to-male ratio of wages for similar work (10%)

iv.Leadership positions: Female-to-male ratio of representation in leadership positions (10%)

v.Unpaid care work: Male-to-female ratio of time spent on unpaid care work (10%)

vi.Education level: Female-to-male composite ratio of adult literacy rate, secondary education enrollment rate, and tertiary education enrollment rate (10%)

vii.Financial inclusion: Female-to-male composite ratio of the rate of account holders at a financial institution, rate of borrowing, and mobile banking rates (10%)

vii.Digital inclusion: Female-to-male composite ratio of the rate of internet and mobile users (10%)

ix.Number of care institutions: Child care, elderly care, disable care, sick care in proportion to the total population (10%)

x.Number of new business registrations by women: Collect sex-disaggregated data at the time of business registration to build a data-base of companies owned by women.

W20 will work with intergovernmental organizations including UN Women.

We encourage W20 Country Representatives to meet with their respective G20 Sherpa in the lead up to the Leaders Summit in Antalya on 15-16 November, 2015.

We do thank Turkey for its leadership in 2015 and look forward to our next W20 Summit.

October 15 -16 Istanbul

Published inW20 Declarations