G7 Forum says women are essential to foster the global economy

Date: Thursday, September 17, 2015

At the G7 Forum for Dialogue with Women on 16 and 17 September in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with female leaders from around the world to discuss women’s empowerment at an international level.

“It’s a fundamental right, but what is often overlooked is that societies and economies cannot be successful without gender equality,” added Ms. Merkel.

“Global commitment to sustainable development needs investment in gender equality that has to be substantially increased,” said UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, who also had a bilateral meeting with Ms. Merkel.

In a declaration agreed upon during the meeting, the group called on leaders from the business, political and academic sectors as well as civil society to foster women’s economic empowerment, and urged the G7 to make women’s issues a permanent feature of its agenda.

They identified discriminatory laws, gender stereotypes in societies, low levels of education, lack of access to health care and the disproportionate effect of poverty on women as barriers to global gender equality that must be addressed with government leadership.

The Forum also discussed how benefits for women and girls in the digital world can be maximized through changes to the education system that offer access to mentors, quality skills, technology and funding. This will lead to increased confidence and opportunities, the women noted, but to achieve digital and economic empowerment, gender-based violence must be eradicated.

To watch an archived webcast of the event livestream, click here.