G20 Ministerial Conference On Women’s Empowerment


    In News

    • Recently, the Union WCD Minister of India addressed the first ever G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment.

    About G20 Ministerial Conference On Women’s Empowerment

    • Emphasis: It acknowledged the common objectives and shared responsibilities to advance the goals of equality and development of women and girls in all spheres.
    • Held At: Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy in a hybrid format.
    • Participants: 
      • Gender Equality Ministers from the G20 countries
      • Representatives of international organisations (UN Women, ILO, OECD)
      • Representatives of the business community
      • academia and  civil society.
    • Focus Areas: To achieve women’s empowerment at global level across sectors, with a particular focus on two outstanding thematic strains:
      • STEM, digital and financial literacy and environment and sustainability;
      • Labour and economic empowerment and work-life balance.
    • Call for the protection of women in Afghanistan: Afghan women and girls urgently need the support and the action of the G20 to ensure that their rights are guaranteed and to prevent further actions against women.

    India’s Statement

    • India reaffirmed its commitment towards addressing gender and women centric issues through mutual cooperation. 
    • The Minister highlighted the various initiatives undertaken in India towards fostering gender equality, ensuring better healthcare and strengthening women’s safety & security.
    • The Minister also conveyed India’s solidarity with the G20 for promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment amongst partner countries.

    Initiatives Taken in India 

    • Women Empowerment Schemes
      • Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) ensures the protection, survival and education of the girl child.
      • Mahila Shakti Kendra (MSK) aims to empower rural women with opportunities for skill development and employment.
      • Working Women Hostel (WWH) ensures the safety and security for working women.
      • Scheme for Adolescent Girls aims to empower girls in the age group 11-18 and to improve their social status through nutrition, life skills, home skills and vocational training
      • Mahila Police Volunteers (MPV) envisages engagement of Mahila Police Volunteers in States/UTs who act as a link between police and community and facilitates women in distress.
      • Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) is an apex microfinance organization that provides micro-credit at concessional terms to poor women for various livelihood and income generating activities.
      • The National Crèche Scheme ensures that women take up gainful employment through providing a safe, secure and stimulating environment to the children.
      • Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandna Yojna aims to provide maternity benefits to pregnant and lactating mothers.
      • Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana aims to provide housing under the name of the woman also.
      • Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) aims to enable a large number of Indian youth including women to take up industry-relevant skill training in securing a better livelihood.
      • Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) focuses on creating opportunities for women in skill development, leading to market-based employment.
      • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana empowers women and protects their health by providing LPG cylinders free of cost.
      • Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna(SSY) – Under this scheme girls have been economically empowered by opening their bank accounts.
      • Skill Upgradation & Mahila Coir Yojana is an exclusive training programme of MSME aimed at skill development of women artisans engaged in coir Industry.
      • Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) – a major credit- linked subsidy programme aimed at generating self-employment opportunities through establishment of micro-enterprises in the non-farm sector
      • Female Entrepreneurship: To promote female entrepreneurship, the Government has initiated Programmes like Stand-Up India and Mahila e-Haat (online marketing platform to support women entrepreneurs/ SHGs/NGOs), Entrepreneurship and Skill Development Programme (ESSDP). Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) provides access to institutional finance to micro/small businesses.
      • Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) Scheme exists to provide skills that give employability to women.
      • UJJAWALA: A Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation
      • SWADHAR Greh (A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances): To provide shelter, food, clothing and care to marginalized women and girls who are in need. 
      • NIRBHAYA
      • One Stop Centre Scheme
      • Women Helpline Scheme
    • Important Initiatives on Women’s Safety
      • Panic Button: The Ministry of Telecom mandated a physical panic button on all mobile phones in the country. This system was then conceptualized in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs and state governments were asked to put in place a dedicated Emergency Response Centre through which the entire system will be operated. 
      • Safe City Implementation Monitoring (SCIM) portal under Safe City Project:  In order to provide safety for women in public spaces, the Government has identified eight cities for implementation of Safe City project. (Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai) 
      • DNA Analysis Facilities in States: In view of the complaints of delay in cases of sexual assault investigations, dedicated DNA analysis facilities have been sanctioned for the forensic science laboratories located at Chennai, Madurai, Agra, Lucknow, Mumbai and Kolkata.

    Way Ahead

    • Need for Global Agenda: The achievement of full gender parity needs a global agenda, addressing all the different aspects of women’s lives with systemic and cross-cutting policies. 
    • Multilateral Coordination: Such a global transformative agenda requires a high degree of multilateral coordination that should be promoted by appropriate institutional arrangements, effective both at a national and international level. 
    • Integrated Strategy: There is an urgency to promote women’s empowerment through an integrated and shared strategy that includes all sectors of civil society, institutions, the world of culture and work. 
    • Role of Private Sector: There is a need to promote initiatives to work on gender equality by collaborating with the private sector. 
    • Monitoring: A concrete and structured approach to women’s empowerment needs monitoring and evaluation tools based on indicators. 


    About the G20

    • The G20 is the international forum that brings together the world’s major economies.
    • Objectives:
      • Policy coordination between its members in order to achieve global economic stability, sustainable growth;
      • To promote financial regulations that reduce risks and prevent future financial crises; and
      • To create a new international financial architecture.
    • Origins of the G20
      • 1999: In the wake of the 1997 economic crisis, the G7 Finance Ministers announced the creation of the “Group of 20”, aimed at including other countries in their discussions related to global economics and finance. 
      • The first official meeting of the G20 was held in Berlin in December 1999.
      • 2009: At the Pittsburgh Summit, it was decided to institutionalize the G20 as the main forum for global economic and financial cooperation.
      • 2010: The G20 Leaders have met every year since 2010.
    • Key Facts
      • Population: 60% of the world population
      • Economy: 80% of global GDP
      • Trade: 75% of global exports
    • Participants
      • Members: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.
      • Others: Each year, the Presidency invites guest countries, which take full part in the G20 exercise. Several international and regional organizations also participate, granting the forum an even broader representation.
    • Functioning:
      • The G20 does not have a permanent secretariat: its agenda and activities are established by the rotating Presidencies, in cooperation with the membership.
      • A “Troika”, represented by the country that holds the Presidency, its predecessor and its successor, works to ensure continuity within the G20.
      • The Troika countries are currently Saudi Arabia, Italy and Indonesia.
    • The Finance Track
      • Within the G20 process, Finance Track includes the meetings held among Finance and Economy Ministers, Central Bank Governors, Vice Ministers and Sherpas (negotiators) designated by the respective economic ministries.
      • It mainly focuses on economic, financial, monetary and tax issues. 
    • Summits
      • The first was held in Washington in November 2008.
      • The last – held digitally under the Saudi Presidency – in November 2020.
      • The G20 Summit 2021 will be held in Rome, Italy. The Rome Summit will be the 16th G20 gathering at the level of Heads of State and Government. 
    • G20 Innovation League
      • It is a unique event dedicated to sharing views and innovative solutions to key global challenges and to fostering international cooperation.
      • Hosted by the G20 Italian Presidency.
      • The event will involve G20 Members and guest countries, relevant institution representatives, as well as innovation ecosystem players such as VC funds, innovative startups, experts and key businesses in each of the focus areas.


    G20 Alliance for the Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (G20 EMPOWER)

    • Aim: Accelerating women’s leadership and empowerment in the private sector by leveraging its unique alliance among business leaders and governments across the G20 countries. 
    • Origin:
      • Launched during the 2019 G20 Summit in Japan.
      • Established during the 2020 Saudi Presidency.
    • Members: 28 Members, including G20 and guest countries as well as the European Union. 
    • Unique Partnership Model: It is the sole G20 entity that brings together over 60 business leaders and governmental representatives to advance a common goal.
    • Three Cross-cutting Areas: It advocates for progress in women’s empowerment across the three cross-cutting areas of the G20 agenda for 2021, People, Planet and Prosperity, as follows:
      • Measuring to improve: it is fundamental for both governments and businesses to track progress, set goals and monitor trends in the advancement of women in leadership roles.
      • Female talents pipeline as the key to women’s leadership: it is essential to look to diversity, inclusion and equity policies and enablers to address systemic barriers surrounding the advancement of women.
      • Leading the future: it is necessary to address gaps in the availability, adoption and implementation of programs aimed at providing women with the skills and qualifications needed to meet and lead the technological, digitalization and sustainability challenges of the future.
    • The Alliance has also built, in each of its G20 and guest countries, a network of over 400 Advocates within the private sector. 


    Source: PIB