Gender issues to be a transversal theme for the G20 in 2018

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Argentine president Mauricio Macri pledged that women’s issues will cut across the G20 agenda this year.

President Mauricio Macri of Argentina today affirmed that gender issues will be present throughout the 2018 G20 agenda.

“Throughout our G20 meetings, we will have a cross-cutting gender approach,” he said in his opening statement at a press conference at the World Economic Forum (WEF), taking place in the Swiss town of Davos. “We have to keep working, and the best way is to debate and find tools which will help everybody,” he added.

Gender issues have featured predominantly during the intense G20 agenda at the WEF. President Macri talked about gender with various world leaders, including Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany; Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook; Queen Máxima of the Netherlands; and with Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace laureate, with whom he met this morning.

President Macri and Chancellor Merkel spoke about the Women 20, the G20 engagement group that brings together women’s organizations, and discussed the importance of continuing the work developed under the 2017 German presidency.

President Macri and Queen Máxima agreed on the importance of the W20 having a strong presence in all areas of discussion and decision-making.

Argentina’s First Lady Juliana Awada participated in many of these meetings, and made a point of emphasizing that women should have a place at every table. In the meeting with Sheryl Sandberg, she invited the Facebook COO to participate in the W20, “to incorporate her vision and experience into everything to do with inclusion in the workplace, and in the financial and digital environment.”

Awada also participated this morning in a working breakfast led by women leaders from around the world. The dialogue at Argentina’s Davos headquarters, Casa Argentina, was led by Andrea Grobocopatel, current co-chair of the W20, with participants including Alyse Nelson (Vital Voices), Julie Teigland (EY Germany), Rebeca Grynspan (SEGIB), Margarita Dreyfus (Louis-Dreyfus), Pía Mancini (Democracy Earth), Angelica Huber-Strasser (KPMG), Patricia Villela Marina (Humanitas 360), and several others.

The aim of the meeting was to encourage international dialogue that will enhance the W20’s work under the Argentine presidency as it seeks to develop public policy recommendations that promote concrete improvements in women’s economic independence.

“The more discussions we have, the more ideas will surface to empower women. If women grow, we’ll have better companies and better societies. Our objective is to achieve change and not keep waiting,” explained Grobocopatel.

The First Lady agreed. “We all need to get involved in the work of the Women 20 because it is an opportunity to make our voices heard by G20 leaders and advance women’s empowerment and gender equality,” she said.  

Gender in the Overview of Argentina’s G20 Presidency

Gender mainstreaming across the G20 agenda has a key place in the Overview of Argentina’s G20 Presidency: “We know that the only way to achieve truly fair and sustainable development is by ensuring that women and men will benefit equally from it. We will boost women's empowerment, the elimination of gender disparities in employment, science, technology and education, and protection from all forms of gender-based violence.”

The full document here

About the G20

The G20 started out in 1999 as a meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors. In 2008, amidst the global financial crisis, it evolved into what it is today: a major forum that seeks to develop global policies to address today’s most pressing issues. The G20 summits are attended by the heads of state and government of 19 of the world’s leading economies and the EU. Together, the G20 members represent 85% of global GDP, two-thirds of the world’s population and 75% of international trade.