G20 Reaffirms Commitment to Women’s Economic Empowerment at 2017 Meeting

Wednesday 26th July 2017

G20 GermanyThe 2017 G20 Summit took place in Hamburg in early July, where global leaders placed a strong emphasis on women’s economic and financial inclusion and took steps to advance gender equality in critical areas impacting women around the world.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is serving as President of the G20 in conjunction with Germany’s 2017 G20 leadership, honored a pledge she made earlier this year during the annual meeting of the W20 – the women’s economic empowerment-focused engagement group of the G20 – to incorporate the group’s recommendations into the G20 process by placing key W20 action items on the agenda for the second day of the G20 Summit. The result was very positive, with world leaders agreeing on the necessity of women’s economic empowerment and financial inclusion to global development and growth.

The final Communiqué for this year’s Summit adopted many of the W20’s recommendations, including prioritizing working toward equal access for women to financial services, labor markets, property and quality employment. The Communiqué noted the G20 is making progress toward its 2014 commitment to reduce the labor force participation gender gap by 25 percent by 2025, in particular, but further action is still needed.

The document also highlighted the launch of the World Bank Group’s Women Entrepreneurs Financing Initiative (We-Fi), lauding its intention to “reduce barriers to financial inclusion and increase women’s access to capital, markets and technical assistance.” Chancellor Merkel also praised the launch of the facility, calling it a “genuine improvement” for women’s economic advancement. The facility, which aims to raise US$1 billion, had raised US$325 million through donors at the time of the announcement.

In an effort to make a more cross-cutting commitment to women’s economic empowerment, the G20 announced the establishment of a Business Women Leaders’ Taskforce, which will bring together stakeholders from multiple sectors, in cooperation with the W20 and B20 – the business community engagement group – to discuss and make recommendations at next year’s Summit in Argentina on how to best implement G20 commitments to women’s economic empowerment. A W20 delegate since the group’s inception, GBA’s CEO Inez Murray has been asked to join this Taskforce.

Read the full 2017 G20 Communiqué here.