Women 20 Engagement Group to advise G20 leaders on how to achieve more inclusive trade 

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Women 20 (W20), an official G20 engagement group, today announced the launch of a Knowledge Partnership with UPS to support the engagement group’s advocacy work on closing the gender divide within digital trade through a joint policy brief. Issued today, this set of recommendations urges G20 governments, the private sector, and civil society to bolster women entrepreneurs’ economic engagement in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Through our Women Exporters Program (WEP), UPS has gained extensive knowledge and understanding of the barriers faced by women who want to export, and we’ve developed the policy recommendations to unlock women’s access to the international marketplace,” said Laura Lane, UPS President of Global Public Affairs. “We are proud to work with the W20 as a Knowledge Partner to leverage our insight as a global logistics leader to advance women’s empowerment around the world.”

In the lead up to the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Riyadh in November 2020, W20 will formulate actionable policy recommendations to advance gender equality in G20 negotiations. UPS and W20 call on international delegates from all G20 member states to take collective steps to adopt and implement policies that address technology gender gaps and advance women’s ability to participate in digital trade.

“An inclusive approach to digital trade can unleash the untapped economic potential of women and contribute to addressing inequality. Supporting women’s entrepreneurship is an essential way of ensuring gender equality and bringing about positive changes for women globally,” said Dr. Thoraya Obaid, W20 Chair. “We look forward to joining forces to narrow the wide gender digital trade divide.”

UPS and W20’s joint policy brief offers guidance on how public, private, and civil sectors can narrow the global gender divide by promoting digital connectivity and programs that support women-owned and women-led businesses’ engagement in e-commerce. The most critical areas requiring prioritization are: fostering international cooperation; shaping gender neutral regulatory framework; opening greater market access; facilitating access to finance; and increasing capacity building.

As one of W20’s eight international Knowledge Partners, UPS will contribute thought leadership, recommendations on best practices, as well as insights and data on how to achieve more inclusive digital trade. The joint policy brief highlights how supporting women’s businesses by helping them adapt to the new normal and equipping them with tools to serve their customers domestically and abroad will be critical in rebuilding economies and societies. 

Women entrepreneurs face many barriers to finding resources to help them launch and grow successful businesses. Increasingly, governments, investors and multinational companies are recognizing and tapping into the value of empowering women economically in the region and around the world. Gender parity would lift the economy by nearly a third by 2025 according to recent studies[1]. Putting reforms in place to level the playing field will enrich an already growing ecosystem.

In 2018, UPS and the UPS Foundation launched the Women Exporters Program (WEP) as part of the company’s efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. The WEP, working with the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) SheTrades initiative, NGO and government partners, is a global effort to enable women-owned businesses to gain knowledge on trade, exporting, and logistics. ITC and UPS aim to connect 3 million women to the global marketplace by 2021.

W20 was established as an official engagement group of the G20 during the Turkish Presidency in 2015. The W20 has identified key policy focus areas centered around the inclusion of women across all segments of society, economy, and industry. The W20’s overarching priority during the 2020 Presidency is inclusive decision-making, focusing primarily on labor inclusion, financial inclusion, and digital inclusion, with women’s entrepreneurship as a cross-cutting issue.

About W20

Women 20 (W20) is one of the policy recommendation engagement groups of the G20, and aims to ensure that the gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions and translate into the G20 Leaders' Declaration as policies and commitments that foster gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. The W20 is formed of a transnational network of delegates representing non-government women’s organizations, civil society, female entrepreneurs, businesses, and think tanks across G20 member states. Through a broad dialogue facilitated by digital tools, expert meetings, roundtables and the final summit, W20 delegates jointly formulate concrete actionable policy recommendations to advance gender equality in G20 negotiations. Every year, the W20 develops and addresses to the G20 Leaders a Communique which contains a series of actionable policy recommendations aimed at fostering gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in order to boost gender-inclusive economic growth for each and every country. For updates follow W20 on Twitter @W20org and visit https://www.w20saudiarabia.org.sa/.

[1] Source: McKinsey Global Institute report

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