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W20 Statement to the Extraordinary Virtual G20 Leaders' Summit:
Call to Action for Gender Equality in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 23, 2020

Women 20 (W20), the Women's Engagement Group, welcomes the extraordinary G20 Summit and strongly agrees that a coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic — and its human and economic implications — is urgently needed. We appreciate the effort of G20 Leaders to reduce the COVID-19 pandemic, to propose policies to protect people and safeguard the global economy, and their recognition that collaboration among G20 countries is urgently required. We, W20, are ready to contribute.

We urge that policies and public health efforts address the gendered impacts of disease outbreaks. Experts find that pandemics make existing gender inequalities for women and girls worse and can impact their treatment and care. Women and girls face a variety of risk factors that must urgently be addressed. Given their predominant roles as caregivers within families and as front-line health-care workers, women are more likely to be exposed to the virus. Women also make up a disproportionate percentage of workers in sectors and roles that are impacted harder in economic downturns and offer less social protection.

The achievement of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Brisbane 25x25 target, a commitment to reduce the gender gap in labor force participation by 25 percent by 2025, is jeopardized unless G20 leaders address the pandemic to pave the way for equitable economic recovery. G20 Leaders should immediately:

Accelerate inclusive decision-making

Adapt labor inclusion for the changing economic circumstances

Adopt data-driven policies and commission research

When the pandemic is controlled, we urge G20 leaders to act on key systemic issues:

G20 leaders have an opportunity to develop policy responses to the pandemic that build a foundation for realizing gender equitable economic opportunity and contribute to eliminating gender inequalities. Women 20 calls on G20 leaders to act this week.

Source: Saudi Arabia 2020 Women

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