W20 Aims to Elevate Women’s Economic Empowerment as G20 Priority

Thursday 27th April 2017

Inez Merkel W20 2017The third annual W20 Summit was held April 24-26 in Berlin, where more than 100 delegates from all G20 member states finalized the W20 Communiqué “Putting Gender Equality at the Core of the G20.” GBA has been an advisor on financial inclusion policy since the W20’s inception under the Turkish presidency in 2015, and we are pleased to report that this year, the collection and use of sex-disaggregated data was placed front and center in the Communiqué, highlighted as instrumental not just to closing the financial inclusion gender gap but gender gaps in all areas. The first bullet point of the Communiqué reads:

“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.”

At the Summit’s conclusion, GBA Chief Executive Inez Murray was honored to be part of a panel discussion with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during which Inez focused on how data can not only encourage more financial services companies to serve the Women’s Market by enabling market sizing and understanding of the business case, but can also be used for smarter policymaking.

When Inez inquired about the Chancellor’s perspective on the role of data in driving accountability and smart policy within the G20, the Chancellor was in full agreement on its importance. She noted that, as a former scientist herself, she believes all policy needs to be data driven and that we need to be very clear on what exact data will drive the most change.

The three-day event focused on the wider theme of the fundamental importance of women’s economic empowerment to global prosperity, highlighting the rationale for anchoring women’s access to financial resources and labor markets, enabling their entrepreneurship, and achieving their equal participation in STEM in the G20 agenda. Global leaders present included Chancellor Merkel, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, and First Daughter and Advisor to the President of the United States of America Ivanka Trump. There was widespread agreement that a proposed multilateral fund to support women-owned SMEs (start-ups and high-growth businesses, in particular) was needed. Chancellor Merkel plans to push for this move and build an understanding of the appetite within the G20 for this potentially game changing initiative.

To read the full 2017 W20 Communiqué, click here. For the agenda from the W20 Summit in Berlin, click here.