Bali (24/08) – The G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment (G20 MCWE) 2022 has officially opened today in Nusa Dua, Bali and will last until Thursday, August 25, 2022. The G20 MCWE was held in a hybrid format, and attended by the G20 MCWE member countries and special invitees.
Under the theme of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger to Close Gender Gap”, G20 MCWE will raise 3 (three) main issues, considering that women have experienced the most significant impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. In her opening remarks, the Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Bintang Puspayoga stated that the G20 MCWE represents Indonesia’s commitment to continue the discussion to strengthen the mainstreaming of gender equality and women empowerment, set off by the G20 MCWE Italy Presidency in 2021.
“The first Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment was held last year at the G20 Presidency of Italy, and therefore the G20 Indonesia Presidency is committed to continue this very strategic event. We believe, only through global cooperation and strong commitment, we can overcome the challenges faced by women, especially in the recovery period from Covid-19 pandemic by continuing to promote gender equality and empowering women in all development sectors,” said WECP Minister, Bintang Puspayoga.
Women have been significantly affected by gender gap during the pandemic, as they are vulnerable to layoffs, lose their livelihoods, fall victim to violence, and bear the double burdens in the household. Against this backdrop, Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection (MoWECP) has set three main issues for this year’s G20 MCWE.
“Indonesia has set three main strategic issues, which are relevant to the pandemic, namely (1) The economic aspects of post-Covid-19 Care, focusing on unpaid care work and missed opportunities in the labor market; (2) Closing the digital gender gap, focusing on women’s participation in the digital economy and future work; and (3) Women’s entrepreneurship, focusing on supporting women entrepreneurs in order to accelerate equality and recovery,” said Minister for WECP.
Minister for WECP is hopeful that this conference serves as a valuable platform for sharing global ideas, future trends, and best practices on gender equality and women’s empowerment issues, especially those related to the three main issues, as well as a platform for securing collective commitment and expand collaboration between all G20 member countries, special invitees, and relevant G20 stakeholders.
“Indonesia has developed and presented 6 policy notes on the areas of Education, Employment, Digital Economy, Environment and Climate Change, Energy Transition and Health. Indonesia cooperates with the G20 alliances and engagement groups and their social partners, including G20 Empower and Women20. We will all study the results of their meetings and their recommendations as outlined in their communique. We hope that the results of our
discussions can contribute to the G20 Leaders Declaration as part of our efforts and commitments to address gender equality and women’s empowerment through action-oriented policies and programs, which can be carried over to the next presidency.
The Indonesian government also pays full attention to the sustainability and development of women-led MSMEs during the pandemic as they are the most affected group during the pandemic crisis. To implement one of the mandates of the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, which is “to increase women’s empowerment in entrepreneurship from a gender perspective”, the Government has launched the National Strategy for Women’s Financial Inclusion in 2020. This strategy includes specific interventions for women in overcoming gender gaps and gender issues that pose systemic barriers for women to access and utilize various financial products and services. In collaboration with local governments, NGOs and the private sector, the government provides access to finance, financial literacy, digital literacy, and other related businesses, as well as digital skills, especially to young women, female heads of household, women survivors of disasters and violence, women in rural areas, and underprivileged women.
Meanwhile, the Italian Minister for Equal Opportunities and Families, Elena Bonetti in a virtual speech stated that MCWE under the Italian G20 Presidency has paved the way for full recognition of gender equality as a priority issue in the G20.
“The closing remarks at the 2021 Italian Presidency MCWE recognized the need for a global agenda to address cross-sectoral and systemic policies across different aspects of women’s lives and the need for effective national and international agreements. For this reason, I hope that the G20 Indonesian Presidency can reaffirm this commitment, as well as to strengthen a solid and comprehensive vision of international commitment to empowering women,” said Elena Bonetti.