The W20 Communique 2023, which provides actionable recommendations to be included in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration, has urged the leaders to provide a minimum 15 per cent tax break, or other equivalent incentives, for women-led technology and tech-enabled start-ups; and relevant incentives/subsidies for women entrepreneurs.
It also urged allocation of a minimum of 5 per cent of the new Global Minimum Corporate Tax, endorsed by OECD and G20 in 2021, to fund women-owned and led MSMES in growth sectors.
The communique was released on Wednesday by Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister for Women and Child Development, along with Amitabh Kant, Sherpa G20, at the W20 Summit - Women-Led Development: Transform, Thrive and Transcend, being held at Mahabalipuram from June 14-16.
The Women 20 (W20) is the official G20 engagement group, created in 2015 under Turkey’s Presidency of G20, with the objective of focusing on gender equity. The primary objective of W20 is women’s empowerment and advocating for the rights of women, raising women’s voices in society. It was founded on the idea that domestic initiatives needed to be incorporated into an international strategy to see any appreciable changes because progress toward gender equality had been too slow and peripheral. Additionally, it aims to ensure that the G20 Leaders’ Declaration includes commitments and measures that support gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
It sought to implement the We-Fi’s -- the Women Entrepreneurs’ Finance Code -- by creating and leveraging blended finance mechanisms for women such as the Global Blended Finance Alliance, and continue to provide the remaining funding for the $350-million commitment in 2022 to We-Fi.
“We urge G20 leaders to advance their previous commitments in the 2022 Bali Leaders’ Declaration, the “G20 Roadmap Towards and Beyond the Brisbane Target”, also referred to as the Rome Roadmap - included in the 2021 G20 Leaders’ Declaration - increasing the quantity and quality of women’s employment and previous G20 Leaders’ Declarations regarding equality and equity for women,” the Communique said.
The Communique recommended action across five priority areas - climate change; entrepreneurship; gender digital divide; grassroots leadership and education, skill development and labour-market participation.
Climate change and gender are inextricably linked and women should be at the heart of climate justice. All climate-related policies must take an inclusive, equal and equitable gender approach.
Women entrepreneurs play a crucial role in driving national economies by boosting GDP growth, creating jobs, and providing essential goods and services. Women, particularly in rural and indigenous areas, continue to face multiple legal, policy, procedural, regulatory, social, and societal barriers, as well as a lack of access to capital and financial services.
It is critical for women to become leaders, to lead development, and act as agents of change, including at the grassroots level, and for society to embrace that mindset and the systemic change necessary for women to exercise that leadership. As such, governments, organisations, and individuals must promote grassroots leadership of women.
Gender Digital Divide
The communique urged G20 Member States to publish an annual national G20 Digital Gender Equality Report to demonstrate progress. By 2030, halve the digital gender gap, including mobile, by addressing barriers around affordability, literacy and digital skills; online safety; and lack of relevant content in usage and adoption of digital technologies.
Education, Skill Development, & Labour Market Participation
Education is a human right. For peaceful, equitable, and prosperous societies, it is necessary to educate girls and women. The economic contributions of women must be appropriately recognised, rewarded and supported through measures that promote decent and predictable work, gender equitable sharing of care responsibilities, strengthening public social infrastructures, and a guarantee of freedom from gender-based violence everywhere, the Communique said.