PWA at G20 – Women 20 Summit
Message of the PWA President Gerlie Saura
Hello my name is Gerlie Saura President of PWA – Professional Women’s Association and we are supporting the Women 20 engagement group G20 Italian Presidency. The Women 20 (W20) engagement group has been the traditional hub for consideration of gender issues at the G20. But to address the multitude of acute challenges faced by the world’s women, G20 leaders and finance ministers must now make use of the full range of policy instruments at their disposal.
The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially damaging to the economic well-being of women—worsening gender inequality by crippling women’s employment and earning opportunities while exacerbating household challenges such as violence against women.
We believe that the G20 Italian Presidency should also take a more integrated and intersectional approach, ensuring women’s inclusion across all of the forum’s engagement and working groups.
The Professional Women’s Association has always been a spokesperson for the importance of the role of women in society, rewarding both diversity and sustainability. We do believe that now more than ever – the social, cultural restart of our economy depends on the strengthening of women in the world of work. Hence, we will continue our mission to support women in their professional development and supports strategic partnerships that promote women’s economic empowerment, lifelong learning, and equal access to employment opportunities.
Since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, women’s employment rates have fallen precipitously in many nations. By late 2020, some 2.5 million women had lost their jobs or dropped-out of the workforce. Youth employment has also been highly vulnerable to the pandemic, dealing young women a double blow.
W20 advocates for progress in women’s empowerment across the three cross-cutting areas of the G20 agenda for 2021, People, Planet and Prosperity. We urged everyone to change the perspective avoiding a defensive approach on the inclusion of women. There must be a strong commitment by governments to ensure female employment growth. Governments should adopt a global plan against gender stereotypes and for cultural change. Governments must launch a global plan on violence against women, in all forms. Finally, accompanying the ecological transition by enhancing the female talents who have led the battles in defense of the earth and have been a pillar against the pandemic.
The Italian presidency must urgently heed this call and advance an energetic, holistic, women-centered agenda that mobilizes resources, directs financing, and ushers in data-informed policies. What’s needed is a strategy that both curbs the damage that the pandemic has inflicted on women and unlocks opportunities for reimagining women’s education, employment, and entrepreneurship in the post-pandemic era. If it succeeds in implementing this two-track strategy, the Italian G20 will be a boon to inclusive growth in member states and the global economy.
Now, I’m personally calling on your active support to see gender parity as an integral part of the solution to the many challenges we face in terms of health, climate, economy, and fundamental human rights. Thank you.