Athena Co-founder and Director Deepa Karthykeyan recently attended the W20 summit in Buenos Aires as an India Delegate. The W20 summit1 is a forum that attempts to set a common agenda for women countries in the G20. This year, it outlined clear actions under 4 heads, namely: Labour, Rural, Digital and Financial inclusion.
The Brisbane Commitment and Investments in Workers’ Rights
While the communiqué re-iterates the importance of the Brisbane commitment to reduce the gender gap in labor force participation by 25% by 2025, it also acknowledges the rising role of the gig economy in the labor markets. It additionally recognizes the importance of social protection and labor rights of women workers. The communiqué also emphasizes the need for public investments in affordable childcare for men and women in both formal and informal sectors. This includes mandatory paid parental leave schemes by 2025 that include non-transferable entitlements for a second caregiver, with the aim of promoting shared responsibility of care work and a better work-life balance.
Artificial Intelligence: Avoiding Gender Bias
A nascent but growing concern around embedded gender biases in algorithms and artificial intelligence
also finds a place in the communiqué for greater observation and regulation.2
Women’s Economic Empowerment
To give the women economic empowerment agenda a push, the communiqué emphasizes alternate mechanisms to evaluate the credit worthiness of women, along with a target of increase in public procurement by 10% for women-owned and led businesses. The delegation will now work towards identifying and finalizing a common set of KPIs for the upcoming W20 summit in Tokyo. It will also initiate the process of tracking progress on the metrics among the G20 countries.
1. A transnational network that brings together women leaders from business, government, academia and civil society.
2. For example: Gender bias in artificial intelligence across insurance decisions could result in women paying more in premiums. This means receiving less in claims settlements and a greater vulnerability mis-selling.