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Women20 Germany 2017 Communiqué

26th April 2017, Berlin, Germany

Putting Gender Equality at the Core of the G20

We, the representatives of the 2017 Women20 (W20) network, are convinced that the G20’s goal of inclusive and sustainable economic growth in an interconnected world will not be achieved without the G20’s commitment to women’s economic empowerment by means of the following targets: (a) full property rights, legal capacity, right to self-determination for women and girls and their effective protection from violence; (b) full access to quality education for girls and women, with special attention on technical and vocational education, e-skills and lifelong learning opportunities; (c) full access on equal terms to productive and financial resources for women; (d) full access to labour markets and decent working conditions for men and women, implementing the G20 Job Quality Framework; (e) equal pay and pension rights for equal and equivalent work; (f) GDP measurement and fair redistribution of unpaid domestic and care work, including more investment in the provision of infrastructure and public services, and; (g) equitable representation of women in decision-making positions with that of men.

G20 policies tend to be gender-blind, but they are not automatically gender-neutral in their outcome. Accordingly:

  1. The W20 calls on the G20 member states to systematically integrate gender analysis and gender budgeting into all its agenda, growth strategy and policy frameworks. This must include improving gender-disaggregated data collection for evidence-based policymaking and progress monitoring. It also requires the adoption of, and agreement on, essential indicators that can assess progress in achieving gender equality both within the G20 and internationally.
  2. The W20 urges the G20 to advance member state policies towards the ‘25 by 25’ target set by G20 for reducing the gender labour participation gap, resulting in a 25 per cent improvement by 2025, by putting forward national plans of actions and monitoring its progress with support from the OECD and the ILO. To this end, we recommend alignment with the agreed conclusions of The 61st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, and drawing fully on recommendations of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. It is also critical that G20 members actively work to hold employers accountable to standards of gender equality by supporting the adoption and implementation of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPS). Progress on closing the gender divide to date has been slow: The gap in participation rates between men and women in G20 countries has declined by 0.6 percentage points per annum between 2012 and 2015. Unless a focused effort is made to eliminate restrictions, stereotypes and bias, women will be unable to realise their full potential to contribute to national economic growth.
  3. The W20 recommends that the G20 supports women entrepreneurs and female cooperatives to start up and scale their operations, build capacity, ensure their equal access to finance and markets, and accord them their fair share in global value chains. Entrepreneurship is vital for resilient growth and vibrant societies. Entrepreneurs enhance employment and productivity while creating high quality innovations. Increasing the huge untapped potential of female entrepreneurship would significantly contribute towards achieving the G20’s growth goals.
  4. The W20 calls on the G20 to swiftly bridge the widening digital gender divide and take inspiration from the ‘Women’s Initiative in Developing STEM Career (WINDS)’ by setting up a comprehensive 5-year plan for gender-equal digital transformation, thereby partnering with ‘EQUALS’, an initiative implemented by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the GSM Association (GSMA) and UN Women. Information and communication technologies (ICT) have been identified as a key driver for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and as the core enabling innovation area of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Furthermore, they are tools through which gender equality and women’s economic and social empowerment can be advanced. An increased investment in access to ICT and technical, vocational education skills and training (TVET) for girls and women is necessary to counteract potential job losses from “digitalisation” of the economy, which may disproportionately affect women.
  5. The W20 calls on the G20’s Presidencies to ensure access to the G20 negotiation tracks and G20 Sherpa meetings. We will remain a driving force for accelerating progress on the G20 commitment of “women’s full economic and social participation” as agreed in the Los Cabos Declaration 2012.

Women realising their full potential will not only stimulate sustainable growth but also be an imperative for diverse, stable and viable societies, pillared by active and inclusive citizenships, and thus the well-being of humankind. The G20 member states are responsible for leading the way. This communiqué and the attendant implementation plan build on previous W20 communiqués and articulate game-changing measures and directional indicators for monitoring progress in delivering on the G20’s gender equality commitments. We are therefore grateful to W20 Turkey and W20 China for their foundational work. This W20 Communiqué and the implementation plan will be submitted to the 2017 G20 Summit. The W20 network thanks Germany for its leadership in 2017 and is committed to the continuation of our dialogue in Argentina.