First Ever W20 Summit in Istanbul called on the G20 Leaders to do more on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment

Women-20 (W20) Summit was held in Istanbul on 16-17 October 2015 with the participation of 36 representatives from 20 countries and two international organizations, namely UN Women and International Labor Organization. Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Uganda were among the countries represented in the Summit, specially invited by W20 Turkey in line with Turkey’s priority to strengthen dialogue with the Low Income Developing Countries during its G20 Presidency.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed the participants during the opening ceremony and promised to actively lobby G20 leaders at the Antalya Summit to incorporate W20 recommendations in the Leaders Communiqué.

Underscoring that unless women got the status they deserved, economic goals could not be attained, President Erdogan said: “High-quality growth means more jobs, higher life standards and fairer distribution of wealth. The W20 has a great responsibility to contribute and offer suggestions to the G20 in all these areas.”

Turkey’s G20 Sherpa Ambassador Ayse Sinirlioglu, the W20 Chair Dr. Gülden Türktan and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri also delivered opening remarks. First Lady Emine Erdogan attended the Gala Dinner of the Women-20 Summit.

The W20 Communiqué, adopted by consensus, called on the G20 Leaders to empower women through strengthening linkages between education, employment and entrepreneurship, supporting work and life balance, increasing the number of women in leadership positions, ensuring women’s access to finance, eliminating workplace discrimination, supporting women’s networks and women owned enterprises, delivering adequate social protection and contributing to sustainability.

W20 has also agreed to play an active role in monitoring and asked the G20 to develop a scorecard to measure progress in the participation of women in the economy.

W20 recommendations compiled in the Summit Communiqué will be conveyed to the G20 Leaders during the G20 Antalya Summit on 15-16 November.

W20 is a new official engagement group of the G20 established in 2015 upon the initiative of the G20 Turkish Presidency. W20 supports G20’s efforts to achieve gender inclusive economic growth and women’s economic empowerment. W20 Official Launch took place in Ankara on 6 September 2015. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría participated in the launch event.

W20 Turkey Presidency comprises of three NGOs; namely, Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER), Turkish Businesswomen Association (TIKAD) and the Women and Democracy Association (KADEM).

W20 Summit Communiqué
W20 Summit Programme
W20 Summit Press Release (in Turkish)

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