By Ayako Hirayama / Japan News Staff WriterOSAKA — Leaders of Group of 20 major economies addressed the issue of gender equality and called for empowering women during the second day of the summit in Osaka on Saturday.
A special event was held before the day’s G20 sessions to highlight the importance of women’s empowerment, a key policy goal of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration.
The event was attended mainly by leaders of G20 members as well as Dutch Queen Maxima; Ivanka Trump, the daughter of and an advisor to U.S. President Donald Trump; and representatives of related organizations. Eight international organizations and advocacy groups, including the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, submitted to Abe reports and recommendations on enhancing women’s empowerment.
“The G20 members at different development stages make a united effort to promote women’s empowerment,” Abe said during the event. “I believe that such effort will serve as a driving force for further development of the G20 as a whole.”
The event emphasized three priority areas: women’s labor participation, support for girls’ education and support for women entrepreneurs.
Gender equality has been a priority issue for the G20 since the Brisbane summit in 2014. There, leaders committed to achieving the “25 by 25” target — reducing the gender gap in the workforce by 25 percent by 2025.
Abe announced at the event a plan to establish a follow-up system to monitor each member’s progress toward the target. He also said Japan aims to provide education for at least 4 million women in developing countries by 2020.
Ivanka Trump said the talent, ambition and genius of women was “one of the most undervalued resources in the world.”
Dutch Queen Maxima, the U.N. secretary general’s special advocate for inclusive finance for development, also called for increasing women’s financial, digital and labor inclusion.
“If women had an identical role in the labor market as men, up to $28 trillion would be added to the global GDP by 2025,” the queen said. “This is an issue that is as important for men as it is for women.”Speech