G20 EMPOWER is an initiative launched in in 2019 to bring G20 countries, their governments together with the private sector entities in order to set indicators, parameters and goals to advocate and advance the cause of women in leadership roles across the private and public sectors. EMPOWER stands for: Empowerment and Progression of Women’s Economic Representation (G20 EMPOWER).
The EMPOWER initiative takes cognisance of the concerns that despite the Beijing Declaration (1995) and the G20 Brisbane Goal (2014), the gender gap remains as wide. Women’s participation and economic inclusion in the workforce lags behind that of men, as does women’s leadership in the top decision making roles. Funding for women led start ups and the share of women owned businesses in global trade remains marginal and minuscule at best.
In addition to G20 Empower, an alliance of the government and private entities, there is another initiative of the G20, viz, Women20. W20 is an engagement group that addresses the fact that the inequities worsen for women who are facing other intersectional barriers of discrimination such as for women of color, migrants, special needs and underserved groups who lack equitable access to health, education and opportunities. It thus focuses on mitigating barriers and promoting measures that enhance equality, ecosystems support, security, capacity building and welfare.