The W20 engagement group under the auspices of the G20 focuses on promoting gender inclusiveness and gender equality, essentially making a significant contribution towards a strong, sustainable and balanced growth trend globally.
Formed under the Turkish term presidency of the G20, the W20 organised its first global event in light of the Summit during Fall 2015. With the main theme being the empowerment of women, the engagement group focused on overcoming contemporary challenges regarding gender inclusivity within the global economy.
Gender inclusiveness and gender equality are essential for a strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Women make up over half of the world´s population, but their contribution to economic growth is far below its potential. Gender inequality also restricts development and poverty eradication efforts in developing countries. Ameliorating these imbalances is vital for growth and development in our countries, and for the overall health of the world economy.
The Turkish Presidency proposed establishing the Women-20 (W20) as a G20 engagement group which would provide support for the efforts made by the G20 towards achieving inclusive growth and raising the profile of gender issues. H.E. Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan introduced the idea at the first Sherpa meeting in Istanbul on 15-16 December 2014. Following consultations, the Presidency was able to achieve consensus among all G20 members to form the W20 as a stand-alone engagement in 2015.
The mission of the W20 is to promote global gender-inclusive economic growth. The mandate for the W20 includes helping achieve progress on the G20 commitments of “women’s full economic and social participation” made in the Los Cabos Leaders’ Declaration in 2012, “women’s financial inclusion and education” in the St. Petersburg Leaders’ Declaration in 2013, and “reducing the gap in participation rates between men and women in our countries by 25 percent by 2025 (taking into account national circumstances)” in the Brisbane Leaders’ Declaration in 2014.
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 a set of policy recommendations to support the G20 leaders in their ongoing work to achieve gender equality and women's economic empowerment. These recommendations addressed the following issues:
- women's economic empowerment through strengthening linkages between education, employment and entrepreneurship
- building an effective infrastructure for social care
- participation of women in top decision making positions in public and private sectors
- women's access to finance
- workplace discrimination and working conditions