On August 26, in the framework of the G20 Italian presidency, a special conference on women’s empowerment took place in Santa Margherita Ligure, the first of its kind in G20 history. The agreed conclusions will be presented to the G20 leaders in sight of the final Rome summit on October 30 and 31. Ministers for Equal Opportunities and Gender Equality of G20 countries and beyond, international organizations’ representatives (UN Women, UNESCO, ILO, OECD), as well as representatives of the private sector, academia and civil society took part in the Conference to discuss two main thematic areas:
- STEM, digital and financial digital skills, environment and sustainability
- Economic empowerment and work-life balance
- The Conference also hosted a special meeting convened by Minister Bonetti to address Afghan women’s situation
Aidos was present as a Ngo working in this field and as the coordinator of the C20 Gender Working Group; we contributed to the discussion bringing a gendered and intercultural perspective stemming from our work in human rights and more specifically women’s and girls’ rights. We were asked to give our contribution to the first thematic area: we highlighted the centrality of women’s and girls’ agency in every decision-making process, as they are not mere receivers of policies but must be at the centre of their design and implementation. We also stressed out how digitalization can be converted into a valuable tool to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment if gender stereotypes and unconscious biases, defined by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as a pervasive human rights violation, are tackled and eliminated at every level, starting from the educational sector and school material. Therefore, women and girls must have a seat at the table of decision-making processes, at every level. Governments must assume this task and be held accountable for results and setbacks, thus working on these goals and ensuring self-determination and bodily autonomy, starting from the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights, throughout the life course.
Here you can find Maria Grazia Panunzi’s contribution, president of Aidos, representative of the Civil 20 Gender Working Group.
At the end of the Conference, Minister Bonetti released a Chair’s Statement that will be sent to the G20 leaders.