India’s unwavering dedication to championing Gender Equality and Women-led development throughout its G20 Presidency led world leaders to agree with the creation of Working Group on the empowerment of women. During the G20 Summit, on September 10, the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration 2023 incorporated the Chair’s Statement which was adopted at the G20 Ministerial Conference for Women Empowerment in Gandhinagar on 2nd – 4th August 2023.
Pivotal role in guiding G20 nations to achieve the milestone
The G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration 2023 focuses on ‘Enhancing Economic and Social Empowerment’, ‘Bridging the Gender Digital Divide’, ‘Driving Gender Inclusive Climate Action’ and ‘Securing Women’s Food Security, Nutrition and Well-Being’. The commitment made by G20 Leaders is a testament to the Prime Minister of India’s steadfast dedication to advancing gender equality and equity. This commitment has played a pivotal role in guiding G20 nations to achieve this significant milestone.
Under India’s G20 Presidency, which prioritized women-led development, the nation became a global beacon for advancing women’s empowerment. This was achieved through a series of initiatives, including six in-person international conferences and 86 virtual international meetings that extensively addressed gender equality issues. Notable among these were the G20 EMPOWER and W20 meetings, which were chaired by Dr. Sangita Reddy (Joint Managing Director of the Apollo Hospitals Group) and Dr. Sandhya Purecha (a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award), respectively.
To make G20 a People’s Presidency, Jan Bhagidari or Citizen’s engagement became a hallmark of India’s G20 Presidency. Various meetings under the W20 Engagement Group saw enthusiastic participation of over 300,000 citizens, who were engaged through Janbhagidari events ranging from walkathons to flash mobs.
The events showcased Women–Led Development and women community leaders, artisans, Self Help Groups, SMEs, corporates, and business entities from various states played an active part to make India’s G20 Presidency a truly people’s event. Furthermore, local artisans, craftsmen, women engaged in unconventional sectors, and women entrepreneurs actively exhibited their products, talents, and services during in-person international conferences. They generously devoted their valuable time and effort to participate in panel discussions.
Support for the forthcoming G20 Women’s Ministerial
In a statement released by UN Women Asia and the Pacific, Susan Ferguson, UN Women India Country Representative in New Delhi, said, “We congratulate the Indian government for securing strong commitment to advancing gender equality across G20 nations, that accounts for around 80 per cent of gross world product (GWP), 75 per cent of international trade, two-thirds of the global population, and 60 per cent of the world’s land area.” She also acknowledged the profound impact of empowering women and girls across various societal domains, including the economy and social development.
The establishment of a Women’s Empowerment working group to bolster gender equality initiatives represents a highly promising development. This initiative will ultimately provide support for the forthcoming G20 Women’s Ministerial, scheduled to convene its inaugural meeting under the Brazilian G20 Presidency. Through this, the working group will carry forward the commitments initiated during India’s G20 Presidency.
These commitments encompass various areas, including the creation of more jobs in STEM and green sectors, improved access to financial and digital resources, enhanced leadership opportunities, investments in the care economy, ensuring food and nutrition security for women and children, better healthcare outcomes, and greater involvement in disaster risk recovery and resilience-building efforts.