Welcome to the W20!
Women20 is one of the most recent G20 dialogue processes: the objective of reducing the gender employment gap by 25 percent by 2025 (“25 by 25”), which was agreed on by the G20 at its 2014 summit in Australia, paved the way for the inclusion of a new engagement group in the official ambit. In October 2015, the first working meeting of Women 20 (W20) took place in Istanbul as part of the Turkish G20 presidency. Demands and measures were formulated, which were intended to promote the economic participation of women in the G20 Member States and to strengthen their economic power. In 2016, these strands of work were taken up and continued by the Chinese presidency of the G20, and a final declaration (W20 communiqué) was also drawn up at the W20 summit and passed to the G20.
Now in its third year, the expectations of W20 have increased considerably: Germany as a country which has a strong civil society and a female head of government should not only provide a stage for gender equality issues in the G20, but also finally create an active, sustainable W20 network.
This network will support the G20 in the long term through specific recommendations for action, consolidated advocacy and expertise. These joint recommendations are drawn up by representatives of women's and social organizations, women entrepreneurs and female economic experts from the G20 countries and international organizations from around the world. The aim is to permanently mainstream the subject of women’s economic participation and empowerment (women's economic empowerment) in the G20 objectives. An additional objective is to evoke existing political declarations such as the UN’s Agenda 2030 time and time again and call for the implementation thereof.
The W20 topics include the labour force participation of women, equal pay, women in managerial positions, the compatibility of family and career, the evaluation of gainful employment and care work, female entrepreneurship, access to the capital market and closing the digital gender divide.
Within the framework of the 2017 German presidency of the G20, the National Council of German Women’s Organizations [Deutscher Frauenrat] and the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs [Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen] (VdU) were tasked by the Federal Government with organizing the Women 20 dialogue process. In order to include the experiences of women's associations and organizations as well as women entrepreneurs from their native Germany in the process, various “roundtables” will take place in the spring of 2017 and the demands (contents) of the W20 communiqué will be reviewed. A parallel task will involve establishing a network of representatives from women's associations and organizations and women entrepreneurs from the G20 states.
The aim of the network is to jointly formulate demands for the heads of State and Government, which will be presented to the G20 president Angela Merkel at the W20 Summit in Berlin on 25 and 26 April. The summit in Berlin will conclude the 2017 W20 dialogue process. Responsibility for the process will then pass to the representatives from Argentina, who will assume the presidency of the G20 in 2018.
As the umbrella organization of more than 50 nationwide women's associations and organizations, the National Council of German Women’s Organizations (DF) is the biggest women's lobby in Germany.
The Association of German Women Entrepreneurs (VdU) is a cross-industry trade association which has been representing the interests of entrepreneurially active women in commerce, society and politics for more than sixty years.