To help promote inclusive finance and economic empowerment for women, Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), introduced the W20 Acceleration Platform for Women’s Economic Empowerment during a side event at the G20 Summit on 29 June 2019 in Osaka, Japan.
The Platform, which will provide the W20 with technical expertise, was welcomed with the full support of the W20 troika of Argentina, Japan and Saudi Arabia, along with Germany and Turkey, as well as the broader W20 network.
“This Platform will boost our capacity to collect data, conduct research on public goods, and develop recommendations for policies that release economic power for women. It will bring continuity and strength to the work of the W20,” said the UNSGSA. “And, it will above all, focus on implementing recommendations on financial inclusion, digital inclusion and labor inclusion in different countries. We hope that through the Platform we can build strong momentum and really spur action.”
In her capacity as the UNSGSA and Honorary Patron of the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), Queen Máxima was invited to the women’s economic empowerment side event by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe. Queen Máxima delivered a short speech, along with Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and U.S. White House Advisor Ivanka Trump. Prime Minister Mark Rutte from The Netherlands, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and President Mauricio Macri from Argentina were also in attendance.
An important component of the UNSGSA’s agenda is to address obstacles for women’s economic empowerment and help shape gender-inclusive financial systems on domestic and global levels.
Queen Máxima highlighted the importance of the W20, which is a G20 ‘engagement group’ comprised of female leaders in many countries from the public and private sectors and civil society. The group’s goal is to promote inclusive economic growth for women.
The UNSGSA previously received representatives of the W20 network on 5 June 2019 at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. (Click here to learn more about that meeting).
The W20 was first launched in 2015 under the G20 Presidency of Turkey.
Additionally, on the margins of the G20, the UNSGSA also conducted bilateral talks with representatives of countries actively working to improve access to financial services.
The economic empowerment of women has the potential to make a significant and lasting development impact. Serving the women’s market not only represents an opportunity from a business perspective—it empowers them and helps them take better care of their families.