Women’s Potential for Providing Sustainable Growth
The Summer Peace Summit: The Global Women for Global Growth Summit took place on June 26, 2020. The meeting took place in online format and brought together a number of influential women from different countries and fields of activity. Gülden Türktan, one of the co-founders of the Summit and Founder and First Chairperson of the Women 20, shared unique data on how women contribute to the development and hence preservation of peace. She emphasized that gender issues still account for development in modern societies and it needs to be addressed effectively. That is why such meetings as the Summer Peace Summit are very valuable. They make it possible for leaders from different fields to unite efforts and exchange experience and ideas.
Founder and the Chairperson of the W20, President of the Board of IWF Turkey, former President of the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER)
Women 20 (W20) is an outreach of the Group of Twenty (G20). As explained by Gülden Türktan, the G20 was established in 1999 as an international forum for governments of 19 countries and the European Union. Initially, its main objective was to discuss policies related to promoting international financial stability. Later, the organisation expanded its agenda. Since 2011, the G20 has hosted its summits annually.
Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 90% of the gross world product (GWP), 80% of world trade, two thirds of the world’s population and about half of its land area.
Most of participants of the G20 are men. They are experienced leaders concerned about the fate of the world. However, as we know, any problems and situations require a different perspective. The G20 countries have always strived to achieve financial stability and sustainable growth. Gender integration has been recognized to be one of the most effective solutions to the problems. After understanding that, the G20 members started to invite influential women from different countries to summits and meetings.
In 2012, the G20 Communiqué that included economic and social integration of women was signed in Mexico. In 2013, the G20 leaders signed another G20 Communique on their agreement in creating and enhancing efforts for women’s financial inclusion in their economies. One year later, the G20 countries signed an agreement on the ’25 by 25’ principle at the summit in Australia. The idea was to decrease the gap in gender employment gap by 25 percent by 2025.
In 2015, an outreach group of women from the G20 countries met in Turkey. Women 20, the name of the new structure, was voiced for the first time in the Communiqué.
The Women 20 organisation was officially established in the same year. The W20 Istanbul Communiqué was signed. Education, equal opportunity, financial inclusion, work and life balance, rural women, and women in innovation and technology were among the key topics. The W20 declaration was presented to the G20 in Berlin was included in the G20 Communiqué in 2017. It included actionable advice to the G20 countries.
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, took part in several separate sessions of the Women 20.
The W20 works in a non-stop mode. Its members regularly discuss topical issues and carry out various projects. Every year, a country presiding in the G20 hosts a large meeting of Women 20. The participants discuss the achieved results and further opportunities for cooperation and share their positive experience in expanding women’s rights in their countries.
“I would like to emphasize the achievements of Saudi Arabia having the G20 presidency this year. The country has been working effectively and diligently to promote women inclusive policies. This country is likely to make a good advance in women's rights, economic inclusion, and, as a result, overall economic growth”, commented Gülden Türktan.
Ms. Türktan believes that decrease in the gender gap shall increase the GDP of the countries.
Over the time of existence of W20, different countries carried out sets of actions mentioned in communiqués aimed at removal of legal and social barriers in the labor market, decent work, financial inclusion, and education. Much attention was paid to raising awareness of unconscious gender-based bias and destruction of stereotypes. All that was aimed at women’s greater inclusion in the society’s life.
Today’s world still has many problems requiring our attention to be solved. According to Gülden Türktan, today, people need to spend money more consciously, decrease the level of poverty and illiteracy, resolve and prevent conflicts, and secure their environment. Women can contribute greatly to addressing these problems.
“Peace is the absence of violence in all its manifestations. In addition prosperity is directly linked to justice. I believe, we need to ensure that women from all over the world can fully participate in decision-making for global growth”, emphasized Ms. Türktan.
According to her, the losses caused by COVID-19 can be recovered for all our countries largely thanks to women’s potential, initiative spirit, and non-indifference. Their positive energy can bring small but sustainable growth in many areas.
“What we need to do is to hold each other’s hand to move forward. I believe our community can do this!” concluded Gülden Türktan.
Viktoria Yezhova, Global Women Media news agency
Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov