Women’s Empowerment is not just an issue of social justice, it is also an economic imperative. Together, the G20 members represent more than 80 percent of the world’s GDP, 75% of international trade and 60% of the world population. Given its key role in the global economy, the G20 holds a strategic role in securing future global economic growth and prosperity. It also has a huge potential to deliver on women’s empowerment and gender equality.
The G20 Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (EMPOWER) is an alliance of G20 business leaders and governments that aims to accelerate women’s leadership and empowerment in the private sector. The G20 EMPOWER 2023 under India’s presidency aims to take forward India’s women-led development agenda.
The Inception meeting of G20 EMPOWER was held on 11th-12th February at Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The second EMPOWER meeting is scheduled to be held from 4th -6th April, 2023 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
The theme of the G20 EMPOWER 2nd Meeting is “Women’s Empowerment: A Win-Win for Equity and Economy”. India’s G20 Presidency is inclusive, equitable, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented pushing forward transformative changes towards women’s economic empowerment. Today, countries are focusing on empowering women like never before. India’s G20 Presidency has come at a critical juncture and an opportune time too. The priority areas of G20 EMPOWER 2023 and efforts made under G20 EMPOWER Alliance during the past presidencies to accelerate women’s empowerment will be taken forward and strengthened under 2nd EMPOWER Meeting in Thiruvananthapuram.
Dr. Munjpara Mahendrabhai, Honourable Minister of State for Ministry of Women & Child Development will grace the occasion and enlighten the august gathering. Dr. Sangita Reddy, Chair of G20 EMPOWER 2023 will be present for the meeting and will address the august gathering. Secretary, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Sh Indevar Pandey and other senior officers of G20 Secretariat and Government of India and Government of Kerala will also be present for the meeting.
The G20 EMPOWER 2nd Meeting will be initiated, with an opening plenary session on Achieving Economic Prosperity by Empowering Women: Towards 25×25 Brisbane Goals followed by panel discussions. The highlights during these dialogues would include Advancing Women’s Entrepreneurship through Mentoring & Capacity Building; Market Access and Financing; Role of STEM Education & Innovation for Scaling up Businesses; Enabling Leadership across all levels including at Grassroots; Holistic Wellbeing, including Mental and Preventive Health for Women’s Empowerment; Increasing Investment for Quality & Reach of Education, Digital Fluency and Lifelong Learning; Strengthening Women’s Participation in Scientific and Non-traditional Sectors of Work.
The side events on 4th April will also take up very important issues in the form of panel discussions on Enabling ‘School-to-Work’ Transitions and Career Development Opportunities; Investing in an Enabling Infrastructure to Support the Care Economy; Navigating Corporate Culture for Women Empowerment.
An Exhibition designed and curated by the National Institute of Fashion Technology is being organised alongside the main event to showcase women’s engagement in the cultivation and production of Tea, Coffee, Spices and Coir, work of women-led FPOs and Indigenous Toys, Handloom & Handicrafts crafted by women as well as ayurvedic and wellness products. The exhibition will have digital features that will provide an immersive experience to the audience.
In addition to the sessions, a visit to Kerala Arts and Crafts village (KACV) has been planned which will expose the delegates to Indian arts & crafts and will provide an opportunity to the participants to interact with the crafts persons. Cultural programs will be organised in the evenings which will present an engaging glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of India. Local cuisine and millet-based food will also be served during the events for participants to experience the traditional practises and fine cuisine of India.
The closing plenary session will focus on identifying key outcomes and establishing actions across G20 EMPOWER priorities on points of consensus.
The Closing Plenary of the G20 EMPOWER Inception Meeting had reiterated its collective belief in women-led development and pledged to invalidate the assumption that it will take 132 years to close the gender gap (World Economic Forum 2022) through urgent, determined, bold and transformative actions by the Alliance.
The thematic discussions and deliberations in the various sessions will reflect in the Communique of G20 EMPOWER and will be provided as recommendations to G20 leaders. Points of consensus that will emerge from the outcomes from the main events and side events in all the international meetings will be part of the Communique for the G20 EMPOWER 2023.
India believes G20 EMPOWER has a crucial role to set the agenda for the next phase of development towards economic prosperity while we place women at the heart of our efforts to achieve a better tomorrow.
“If you want to get your future right, if you want to be future-ready, make sure that women are at the centre of the discourse & that women are at the centre of your decision”. – Smt Smriti Zubin Irani, Honourable Minister of Women & Chid Development, EMPOWER Inception Meeting, Agra.