The recommendations of the “Gender Economic Equity” Task Force for the Development Working Group

They are a summary of the findings from several discussions held within the Task Force and on the policy briefs.

2nd Development Working Group meeting – July 10th and 11th, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina

T20 is an open network of researchers, universities and think tanks that aims to add value to the G20 process with evidence-based public policy proposals on areas of interest for the international agenda. It is organized in 10 taskforces, one of which is the T20 Gender Equity Taskforce.

This Task Force aims to nourish W20 and G20 discussions on gender equity by providing an evidence base, through collective knowledge and learning. By being able to discuss, allowing for free exchange of views and ideas based on evidence, a taskforce on gender economic equity at the core of T20 can put forth concrete, relevant and feasible policy options to overcome these challenges. The T20 Task Force was created in 2017 and it currently gathers 56 researchers from 43 think tanks and 19 countries.

This document summarizes the findings of several discussions held within the taskforce, some of which were systematized in the following policy briefs:

  • The Imperative of Addressing Care Needs for G20 countries (joint policy brief by T20 & W20) by Sarah Gammage (ICRW), Abigail Hunt (ODI), Gala Díaz Langou (CIPPEC), Estela Rivero Fuentes (Counting Women’s Work), Carla Isnaldi (Women 20), Urvashi Aneja, (Tandem Research), Margo Thomas (Chatham House) & Carolina Robino (IDRC)
  • Achieving “25 by 25”: Actions to make Women’s Labour Inclusion a G20 Priority by Florencia Caro Sachetti (CIPPEC), Gala Díaz Langou (CIPPEC), Estela Rivero Fuentes (Counting Women’s Work), Margarita Beneke de Sanfeliu (FUSADES), Cindy Drakeman (Double X Economy), Paloma Ochoa (Fundación ICBC), Carolina Robino (IDRC), Boris Branisa (INESAD) & Alina Sorgner (John Cabot University & Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
  • Economic Empowerment of Rural Women” by Narnia Bohler-Muller (Human Sciences Research Council), Boris Branisa (INESAD), Lynne Cadenhead (WeScotland), Carolyn Currie (WeScotland), Graciela Hijar (Women’s Economic Imperative), Sandhya Seshadri Iyer (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Mariela Magnelli (CIPPEC), Margo Thomas (Chatham House), Helen Walbey (Welsh Government Panel for Women’s Enterprise), & Melissa Williams (World Bank)
  • Bridging the Gender Digital Gap by Judith Mariscal (CIDE), Gloria Mayne (CIDE), Urvashi Aneja (Tandem Research), & Alina Sorgner (Kiel Institute for the World Economy & John Cabot University)
  • Gender Mainstreaming: A Strategic Approach by Margo Thomas (Chatham House), Cesar Cordova Novión (Jacobs, Cordova and Associates), Arjan de Haan (IDRC), Gimena de León (CIPPEC), Maxime Forest (Sciences Po) & Sandhya S. Iyer, PhD (Centre for Public Policy, Habitat and Human Development and Tata Institute of Social Sciences)

Early Childhood Development & Care Needs in G20 countries

Guaranteeing full fulfilment of children’s rights should be one of the key priorities in domestic governmental plans. Early childhood is a critical stage for physical, intellectual and emotional development and access to nourishing early childhood education and care (ECEC) has a positive influence on a child’s health, learning ability, and future job prospects. Most of this early learning happens within the remits of the home, and the bulk of familiar ECEC is provided by women and girls. This is the result of the familiarization and femilization of care. Societies that were able to provide a more fair distribution of ECEC and ensure greater early childhood development have done so by reverting this focus towards a more socialized distribution of ECEC (with greater participation of public policies in the provision and with policies to redistribute these tasks between men and women). The current scenario limits both the possibility of development of the child to the resources of each family (mother or care-giver) and constitutes a burden that restricts the woman’s labour market participation.

Discussions around the Care Economy are therefore key to addressing Early Childhood Development in G20 countries. Our T20 and W20 Joint Policy brief The Imperative of Addressing Care Needs for G20 countries” frames Care policies in terms of protecting the right to care and be cared for. It provides concrete recommendations that are relevant for the Development Working Group:

  1. Recognize ECEC work by:
  • Implementing time-use surveys
  • Including unpaid work in national accounts
  1. Reduce ECEC work by fostering a greater redistribution between families and States by:
  • Committing to universal access to quality child care to all families independent of their geographical location and socio-economic status
  • Pledging to invest in care services: expansion of infrastructure and public services
  • Guaranteeing ECEC services are professionalized and open a relevant time-frame that would enable greater female labour market participation
  1. Redistribute ECEC work more fairly between men and women by:
  • Implementing public campaigns to challenge gender stereotypes
  • Establishing mandatory universal paternity leave regimes
  • Enact fiscal incentives for companies with strong co-responsibility schemes
  1. Improve the representation of carers and domestic workers by:
  • Ensure access to decent employment
  • Supporting collectives of organized carers and care workers
  • Ratifying of ILO Conventions 156 and 189 on decent work for domestic workers

Inclusive Business & G20 commitment to Women’s Labour Inclusion

In all societies, women are overrepresented amongst the poorest segments of the population. Inclusive businesses have a huge potential in improving the conditions of most vulnerable populations, but to do so efficiently, it should be done incorporating gender perspective. G20 countries have already recognized the relevance of advancing women’s labour inclusion in several instances. In 2014, the Brisbane Leaders’ Statement reflected the countries’ commitment towards reducing by 25% the gender labour market participation gap by 2025 (known as “25 by 25”). Last year, the Hamburg Leaders’ Statement with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative, an innovative new facility to advance women’s entrepreneurship and help women in developing countries increase their access to the finance, markets, technology, and networks necessary to start and grow a business, reinforced this belief.

In spite of the growing relevance of gender in G20 agreements, it is crucial to translate these agreements into concrete domestic measures, as it was emphasized by the Joint Statement by the C20, L20, S20, T20, W20 and Y20 on Addressing Gender Labour GapsT20. Our T20 Policy briefs “Achieving “25 by 25”: Actions to make Women’s Labour Inclusion a G20 Priority”, “Economic Empowerment of Rural Women”, “Bridging the Gender Digital Gap”, and “Gender Mainstreaming: A Strategic Approach” provide concrete recommendations that are relevant for the Development Working Group’s work on Inclusive Businesses:

  1. Foster Women’s Entrepreneurship and self-employment
  • Develop infrastructure (e.g. internet access) to enable non-urban entrepreneurs to access the market, raise funds (e.g., via crowdfunding), participate in online training programmes, and build and maintain social networks. Where super-fast broadband is too expensive to deliver to individual customers, providing a super-fast hub within a public community centre could facilitate rural entrepreneurs
  • Implement women-only training programs, incubators and accelerators aimed at developing entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
  • Foster initiatives and events to build female entrepreneurial networks that do not reinforce gender differences and to integrate women to existing networks.
  • Ensure social security protection and family policies (e.g. maternity leave) for the self-employed.
  • In public procurement processes, foster the participation and selection of women-owned businesses.
  1. Remove legal barriers to women’s economic empowerment:
  • Abolish policies, laws and regulations that prevent or restrict women’s agency.
  • G20 development donors should require reform in the legal framework governing women’s economic participation as a condition of official development assistance.
  • Enact legislation to ensure women’s equal access to assets and resources, including credit, land ownership, inheritance.
  • Promote laws that guarantee equal pay for equal work
  • Reform inequitable laws and regulations and ensure legal protection and non-discrimination.
  • Prevent violence against women and girls in all contexts, including the workplace.
  1. Foster women in STEM careers and traditionally male-dominated sectors
  • Implement vocational training and skills development in emerging fields and support women and girls’ enrolment.
  • Encourage mentoring and coaching programmes to attract women to STEM careers and other traditionally male-dominated fields.
  • Promote scholarships especially aimed at women in STEM fields
  • Set specific targets for female enrolment in STEM university degrees.
  1. Gender mainstreaming in active labour market policies
  • Ensure equal access to labour market policies regardless of gender, tailoring programmes to address the specific barriers that women face.
  • Foster gender mainstreaming in instructors’ training.
  • Design specific training modules for women entrepreneurs
  • Provide guidance for women and men that participate in vocational training to avoid the reproduction of occupational segregation.
  • Foster women’s financial inclusion and literacy
  • Strengthen policies to recognize and reduce informality in feminized sectors, such as domestic services.
  • Improve the collection of quality data about land ownership, disaggregated by gender
  1. Strengthening Visibility, Collective Voice, And Representation
  • Support the operation of women’s groups and networks through, for example, ensuring the legal framework for women’s organizations to have a legal identity within the country; provide support for organizations to operate; and working with the networks to design policies and programs for women’s economic empowerment.