A guest blog from Regina Kiriutina, Gender Networker at the Consortium of Women’s Nongovernmental Associations in Russia
On September 15th-16th, 2015 Civil Societies from 42 countries from all around the globe gathered to talk about the issues they all work with from day to day. The injustices, inequalities and violations, unlawful usage of resources and harmful attitudes towards various social issues, which are in need of being mitigated in G20 countries were discussed in four thematic Working Groups (Gender Equality, Governance, Sustainability, Inclusive Growth) at the Civil 20 Summit.
The stunning campus of the Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey hosted two days of passionate inspiration speeches of experts and visiting officials, debates aiming to find the common ground between Civil Societies and the collection of evidences and stories from the represented countries and NGOs.
The preparations for the Summit, according to the Secretariat, took almost a year making more than 7000 people involved in the consultation processes, through which every person concerned about the agenda could contribute through the online platform developed specifically for discussions and inputs. As the result of this tremendous work the basis for the actual two-day Summit were two key documents (C20 Policy Paper – one for each working group, and the Draft Communiqué) designed in the most participatory manner.
The Communiqué drafting mechanism during the Summit was quite straightforward and inclusive. The Drafting Committee, based at the space which was humorously called “The Communiqué Kitchen”, has been almost day and night collecting comments, positions, ideas and issues to be included into the final document. From the gender equality working group perspective the most discussed topics were: the recognition and the reduction of burden of the unpaid care work done by women and monitoring of the gender equality commitments made by the G20 governments.
The ECSN team of partner organizations undertook an effort of merging their separate suggested policy positions into the joint statement on gender. The Drafting Committee has recognised the 9 out 10 proposed positions as important and included them into the final document’s segment on gender equality. For example: “Establish legal and policy frameworks that eliminate gender-based wage gaps and occupational segregation, penalize gender based discrimination at work and introduce gender for employment, public procurement and representation on corporate boards up to 50%, as well as policies that address rights and wellbeing of women in the informal economy…”.
The collective insight from Women’s organisations with a wonderfully varying background has truly enriched the atmosphere of debates and helped to find a solid common ground for participants. The environment of friendliness made networking a genuine pleasure.
The next year’s Presidency at the G20 will be handed to China right after the Leaders Summit, which will take place in Antalya, Turkey on the 15th-16th of November, 2015. The final Communiqué produced by the G20 Civil Societies is promised to be taken into account when composing the G20 Leaders Statement.
So far the G20 leaders have made only one big commitment in terms of Gender Equality, in the G20 Leaders’ Communiqué, from November 2014, which is to reduce the gap in participation between men and women in the respective countries by 25 per cent by 2025 and to bring more than 100 million women to work by doing so. Therefore one of the joint ECSN proposed policies becomes increasingly important and relevant: «Provide state support for women owned micro-enterprise and SMEs, including alternative institutions such as women’s cooperatives and federations that foster women’s leadership, entrepreneurship and access to productive resources». The ECSN partner organisations express hope that leaders would recognise this goal and turn into another specific commitment.