Promising results from G7 Summit as leaders strengthen their commitments to women’s rights
G7 leaders have published a communiqué, with concrete commitments to women's empowerment.
As part of the Women7 process, we made recommendations to leaders at the G7 Summit to prioritise women’s economic empowerment and women’s rights in their decision making. The G7 communiqué published on 28th June outlines concrete commitments to gender equality, yet strong financial commitments to deliver on the promises are missing in the communiqué. Senior Advocacy Advisor, Sini Maria Heikkila, shares her thoughts in this blog.
Many areas critical for women’s economic empowerment featured heavily in the newly adopted communiqué, which is incredibly encouraging. Here are a few of my key takeaways:
- The G7 committed to collectively increase the share of bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA) advancing women’s rights. This means that more of each government’s aid budget will be targeted towards women’s and girls’ empowerment. We encourage the G7 to implement the joint recommendation from the Women7 coalition ensuring that all programmes funded by ODA have a gender lens and that at least 30% is channelled into programmes with gender equality as the principal objective.
- One of the positive, concrete outcomes of the communique is that a G7 gender dashboard will be created to track progress on gender equality targets and increase accountability. This is an important response to the long-lasting calls from civil society and the women’s rights movement to strengthen the accountability and implementation of the commitments adopted by G7 leaders.. If we don’t measure the impact of decisions on women, we will never know what is working and what isn’t!
- There was a strong focus on the care economy and the need to recognise, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work that disproportionately affects women, undermining their economic empowerment and contributing to the gender gap in entrepreneurship. In this area, the G7 leaders also made a financial commitment of USD 79million for the World Bank’s Childcare Incentive Fund to support global access to quality care infrastructure. A good first step, but small potatoes compared to the scale of this issue which was significantly exacerbated by the pandemic.
- Commitments were made to overcome structural barriers and address harmful social norms and gender stereotypes, an area that we have recognised as a key issue undermining women’s journey to and through entrepreneurship, and which has been a key focus of our advocacy efforts in the last year. The commitment to address these issues is a step in the right direction as structural barriers to gender equality nor gender stereotypes were not addressed in the Carbis Bay communiqué adopted at the G7 Summit in 2021.
- Plans for global economic recovery included calls for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in their all diversity as well as LGBTIQ+ persons in politics, economics, education and all other spheres of society. In general, whilst the document included more inclusive language and e.g. an important recognition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as highlighted by Women7 colleagues, it lacks adequate focus on race or racism.
Though there is a need for further details on financial commitments and we look forward to clearer plans for implementation, the communiqué presents a promising emphasis that has been absent in recent years from this year’s summit.
We look forward to working with other members of Women7 coalition to monitor the progress the G7 make towards gender equality, particularly in the area of women’s economic empowerment. Women entrepreneurs everywhere stand to benefit from these commitments and their implementation could mean great strides for gender equality.
It is crucial that G7 nations take swift action to deliver on their promises and create a more gender equal future.