The G20 EMPOWER Inception Meeting was hosted in Agra on 11th and 12th February 2023 at the Taj Convention Hotel. The two-day inception meeting was themed around – Empowering Women to Lead Across Sectors: Role of Digital Skilling and Future Skills with the overall focus areas under India’s G20 Presidency – ‘Women’s Entrepreneurship: A win-win for Equity and Economy’, ‘Partnership for promoting women’s leadership at all levels including at grassroots” and ‘Education, the key to women’s empowerment and equal workforce participation’.
Smt Smriti Zubin, Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs addresses G20 EMPOWER Inception Meeting at Agra
Smt Smriti Zubin, Union Minister for Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs, Irani graced the inaugural function and delivered the key note address and re-emphasised India’s commitment for women-led development.
Day one of the Inception meeting began with a plenary session on the topic, Women led Development: Redefining Women’s Leadership through Digital Skilling. The panel consisting of Ms. Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women and Ms Vaishali Sinha Co-Founder and Chairperson Sustainability, ReNew Power; Chair ReNew Foundation discussed the digital disruption as a big enabler, opening multiple avenues of development for women.
The panel discussion on ‘Role of Digitalization and Future Skills in Empowering Women’ was one of the key panel discussions of day one with panellists from ISRO, World Bank and G20 Empower member delegates from Japan and Bangladesh.
Shri Indevar Pandey, Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development gives welcome address
The second panel discussion was on Enhancing Women’s Participation in Non-Traditional Workforce: Institutionalized Support for Introducing Gender Equitable Opportunities in STEM and AI with panellists from Sea6Energy, Microsoft, Wequity, APAAACI and G20 Empower member delegate from France.
The formal discussions of the day ended with a final panel discussion on Advancing Partnerships and Resourcing for Adoption of Best Practices of Women Led Entrepreneurship.
In the evening, the delegates were treated to a spectacular projection mapping show on the Indian cultural legacy of honouring and valuing the women of the country at the ramparts of Agra Fort, followed by a mesmerising display of the dances of India.
An exhibition “Products and Services by Women at the Grassroots” was held concurrently on both days with the Sessions. The exhibition showcased various products (including around 54 One District One Products (ODOPs) and Geographical Indications (GI) from across 7 states, services, and initiatives by women crafts persons and entrepreneurs.
Day two of the G20 EMPOWER inception meeting continued the wellness morning routine with a Yoga session by the Ministry of AYUSH which was followed by a Power Breakfast with Shereen Bhan, Managing Editor, CNBC TV-18.
Dr Munjpara Mahendrabhai, Hon’ble Minister of State for Women & Child Development and AYUSH, India addressed the gathering and highlighted the Government of India’s endeavour for gender equality by sharing information on key schemes for the empowerment of women and girls in India.
Dr Sangita Reddy, in her concluding remarks, reiterated the three pillars of G20 EMPOWER while highlighting four broad areas of working that will underlie each of these. These include the KPI Dashboard, pledge, proposals for Working Groups, and the need to record outcomes to drive impact.
The session on ‘Art, Culture and a Better World’ moderated by delegate from Avanee Foundation was attended by Dr Sandhya Purecha, Chair W20 and Chairperson, Sangeet Natak Akademi, and artists from various genres of art.
The closing plenary session on ‘Establishing Actions across G20 EMPOWER Priorities and Identifying Key Outcomes’ was chaired by the G20 Empower Chair, Dr Sangita Reddy.
In his special address, Mr Nag Naidu, Joint Secretary, G20, Ministry of External Affairs remarked that reducing gender gaps in labour force participation could substantially boost global GDP and by reducing the gender gap, GDP could go up by approximately 30%.
Ratna Sahay, Special Advisor to the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Empower Delegate focussed on keeping women at the centre of policy making, digital skilling and entrepreneurship.
Tsukiko Tsukahara, Co-Chair G20 EMPOWER, Japan appreciated the idea of an outcome-oriented approach and highlighted the need of increased involvement by the private sector and ways to do it.
Rinawati Prihatiningsih, Co-Chair G20 EMPOWER, Indonesia focused on the G20 Empower pledge and discussed the contribution of women in SMEs as important as they represented 90% of businesses.
Marguerite Soeteman Reijnen, Chairman of the Executive Board, AON Holdings, G20 EMPOWER Delegate, Netherlands remarked that the world groups are crucial for financial inclusion.
Mr. Charles Ramsden, Head of International Gender Policy, Government Equalities Office, United Kingdom brought to the spotlight, the things that will make EMPOWER successful – shared priorities, shared experience and shared commitment to making progress.
The second and final day came to end with an excursion to Taj Mahal and a cultural evening, ‘Strings of the World’.
#G20EMPOWER under India’s Presidency has prioritised the shift from women development to women led development. Women are central to growth & progress not just as beneficiaries but as those who drive this very process. Delighted to participate in Inception meeting at Agra today. pic.twitter.com/rrRFe6PI4G
— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) February 11, 2023
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) February 11, 2023
In #G20 India is mainstreaming women led development. It allows us to accelerate SDG progress, it allows us to push digital transformation, it allows us to give impetus to green development- and as PM @narendramodi has said women are central to all of this as drivers of change. pic.twitter.com/RCibamPHWz
— Amitabh Kant (@amitabhk87) February 11, 2023
#G20Empower l “India’s vision of ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ cannot be achieved unless women & girls become AtmaNirbhar. India has adopted multi-pronged approach that ascertains gender justice & equality & enables full expression & participation of women everywhere.” –@DrMunjparaBJP pic.twitter.com/8vsWaFWFt3
— Ministry of WCD (@MinistryWCD) February 12, 2023