by Chiara Corazza, Managing Director
This week, the Women's Forum for the Economy & Society proudly released a manifesto – a call to the G7 heads of state and government to act for greater equality and empowerment for women, for a stronger, safer and more inclusive world.
Broadly, it contains seven policy area recommendations for the G7:
- Lead by example in the public sector
- Implement and enforce laws and levers for women’s safety and security
- Create the conditions for gender equality in the workforce and employment pipeline
- Ensure equal access to education and technological training to foster inclusive innovation and equal outcomes for women
- Empower women to contribute to solutions to climate change
- Adopt shared principles such as setting clear key performance indicators and measuring and reporting progress
- Draw on women's leadership
The manifesto has been shared with the G7 stakeholders. Under Canada’s presidency this year, gender equality is at the top of the agenda. Integrating gender equality ensures that policies are examined through a gender lens and implemented in a ‘gender-just’ way.
Why a Women’s Forum manifesto?
As some of the world’s most advanced economies, the G7 countries of Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and Japan have tremendous power to address pressing global challenges, and tremendous influence on how people live and work.
Diversity and women’s empowerment is often cited as a means of tackling global challenges. But there is often little mention on how it can work. Therefore, in this call to action, we have compiled concrete recommendations, measures and best practices for women’s equality and empowerment to support a better future for everyone, in G7 countries and beyond.
"Diversity and women’s empowerment is often cited as a means of tackling global challenges. But there is often little mention on how it can work."
These are real views from women who are current leaders and emerging young leaders in their fields, as well as men who are just as engaged and who share our desire to draw on women’s perspectives and leadership for real impact. The discussions during the Women’s Forum Canada Meeting and Youth Forum 9-11 May have contributed to this manifesto.
By adopting these recommendations, the G7 would go a long way towards addressing global challenges such as climate change, managing technological disruption, and fostering inclusive innovation. It would also accelerate and scale the impact on people’s lives by harmonising policies across nations and sectors.
Bridging the gaps
Throughout the Women’s Forum Canada meeting, we were struck by the willingness and enthusiasm of private sector companies and non-government actors to offer their recommendations. Sometimes they provided angles or data on issues that we had not considered, such as access to mental health care or how immunisation programmes keep girls in school. Elsewhere, CEOs of leading companies signaled their willingness to commit to inclusion and strive for higher standards across industries and economies.
Often, the private sector has its finger on the pulse of emerging issues, because of close engagement with their workforce, customer base and other stakeholders; we hope the manifesto and its recommendations can help bridge the gap between the private and public sectors and place such issues in the spotlight.
"We hope the manifesto and its recommendations can help bridge the gap between the private and public sectors and place such issues in the spotlight."
We were also struck by the thoughtful and articulate views from youth leaders and activists, aged 16-24, who attended the Youth Forum and Women’s Forum Canada meetings. Their perspectives bridge a gap by informing those whose decisions today will affect generations in the future.
The Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society remains committed to representing the diverse voices of women’s leadership, and serving as a sounding board for the G7, G20 and other high-level governmental bodies today and in the future. We hope to continue the conversation in Singapore in September and at the Women’s Forum Global Meeting in Paris this November, ahead of the G7 leadership passing from Canada to France in 2018. And we aim to track the G7’s progress – not only on empowering women and girls as a goal in and of itself, but on integrating gender equality across all policy areas for the good of society.
The Women’s Forum Canada members and delegates have dared to raise their voice. Will G7 governments dare to listen?
Join us as we engage for impact by sharing this post using #askwomen #daretolisten and #bridginghumanity.