G20 India: An egalitarian grouping
W20 India — an official G20 engagement group — will take ahead G20's discourse towards fostering an equal and equitable society for women
The Women 20 (W20) is an official G20 engagement group established during the Turkish presidency in 2015. The objective is to ensure that gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions and translated into the G20 Leaders Declaration as policies and commitments that foster gender equality and women's economic empowerment.
India, under the able leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, has made significant strides in ensuring an enabling environment for women. W20 India will strive to take forward the Honourable Prime Minister's vision of India's G20 presidency to be "inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented." India will strive to ensure that the G20 acts as a global "prime mover" to envision new ideas and accelerate collective action over the next year as laid out by the PM.
W20 India's vision is to create a world of equality and equity, where every woman lives with dignity. To help achieve this, our mission focuses on removing all barriers to women-led development and ensuring an enabling environment and ecosystem for women to thrive, transcend, and transform their lives as well as those of others.
This engagement group will facilitate inclusive consultations with stakeholder parties to produce actionable and impactful communique. Further, it will feed W20 recommendations to G20 negotiations – and eventually the G20 Leaders' Declaration – by foregrounding the need for the holistic representation of diverse, and intersectional, interests. It is our mandate to take steps to build consensus around key women's issues, furthering the active engagement of G20 with women entrepreneurs, and highlighting commitments to policies that will advance gender equality. As a group, we strive to establish a stronger W20 global and national network, ensuring continuity of the W20 agenda between presidencies.
During India's G20 Presidency, the W20 will focus on four priority areas:
⁕ Building Leadership of Women at the Grassroots
⁕ Women Entrepreneurship
⁕ Bridging the Digital Gender Divide
⁕ Creating Pathways through Education and Skill Development
To highlight these priorities, W20's strategy will encompass the 4C approach – Collaborate, Cooperate, Communicate and Build Consensus, and Call for Action. We will include, involve, and engage various stakeholders concerned with women's issues.
Stakeholders: Our primary stakeholders are women at the grassroots – including those in tribal, rural, and urban areas, as well as women in agriculture, the informal sector, women artisans and those working in handloom and handicrafts, female entrepreneurs, Anganwadi workers, and PRIs, among others. W20 will also work closely with academic and research institutions for our student outreach programs, as well as develop knowledge products like white papers, policy briefs and research papers. International and national women's civil society forums, local NGOs, UN agencies, ILO, chambers of commerce etc. will also be involved, making W20 an inclusive and diverse platform for discussion.
Jan Andolan & Jan Jagriti; Galli to Delhi: Through a series of meetings and events, spanning villages and capital cities, W20 will ensure the participation of women from all walks of life. Village 'choupal' meetings will be organised to spread awareness about W20 and get citizen voices ingrained in the engagement group's policy briefs and communique. Meetings at gram sabha levels will be carried out, with the aim to pass resolutions that ensure an enabling environment at the village level. Further, postcard campaigns will be carried out throughout the country in support of W20 priority areas, which will in turn influence policymakers and policy outcomes.
In addition, four large world-class events with international delegates will be held showcasing India's rich culture and heritage. These will include performances of classical dances, as well as a handloom and handicrafts mela featuring nano-entrepreneurs and local cuisine. The 1st meeting will be held in Aurangabad from February 13-15, 2023.
Women Entrepreneurship: The W20 agenda recognizes the importance of entrepreneurship and decent work, specifically in Goal 8.3 (SDG) that states – "Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services." W20 will conduct dialogues and consultations with entrepreneurs, startup unicorns, and nano- and micro-entrepreneurs and highlight their recommendations.
Global Consensus Building: Women's economic empowerment is one of the world's most promising areas of investment, biggest emerging markets, talent pools, and demographic dividends to be tapped. W20 will work towards building global consensus on women's economic empowerment as a force multiplier for good governance, economic growth, poverty and hunger eradication, achieving food security and nutrition for all, sustainable consumption and production patterns, prioritizing environmental sustainability, and overall SDG achievement.
As a universal call to action for all stakeholders, including in business, government, women and civil society, the W20 Agenda articulates priorities for joint efforts, so that all women, including women from marginalized sections, can share the benefits of economic growth and development, with no one left behind.
W20 will focus on the G20 and W20 Troika and ensure the continuity of W20 priorities and work.
Role Models and Women Trailblazers: Women have contributed richly to the achievements of science, technology, engineering and many more. W20 will acknowledge the role models who can inspire women to achieve.
Transformational schemes and practices of government and civil society: Analysing government schemes to understand models of governance that have worked for women is one of the key priorities for W20. For example, the Ladli Laxmi Yojna in Madhya Pradesh can be used as a case study to showcase good practices by the government and civil society.
Dr Sandhya Purecha leads the W20 engagement group as Chair along with eminent women as India delegates/participants that include Dr Jyoti Kiran Shukla, Prof Shamika Ravi, Ms Bharati Ghosh, Raveena Tandon, and Dharitri Patnaik as the Chief Coordinator of the W20 Secretariat (FICCI FLO). AMUL is the engagement group's institutional partner.
Sandhya Purecha is the Chair of W20 and Dharitri Patnaik is the Chief Coordinator of the W20 Secretariat. Views expressed are personal