G7 offers piecemeal solutions to reduce economic inequality and close the gender gap

Reacting to the outcome of the G7 summit in Quebec, Canada, Oxfam International executive director Winnie Byanyima said:

 

“The growing split among G7 leaders is bad news for millions of women and men around the world struggling for a better life. Extreme economic and gender inequality, fueled by decades of misguided policies from the G7, have slowed the fight against poverty, eroded the fabric of our societies, and bred unrest.

 

“Our economies are built on the backs of the poorest women and girls and generate huge wealth for a few super-rich men. This can’t go on; G7 leaders need to urgently change course.”

 

On women’s economic empowerment:

“While I applaud Prime Minister Trudeau for convening the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, I am disappointed that world leaders failed to make concrete commitments to make the economy work for women. Unpaid care work, violence against women and girls, discriminatory laws and social norms, and a lack of quality sexual and reproductive healthcare—these are challenges G7 leaders must champion, not neglect.

 

“The G7 must invest in quality paid parental leave and universal, publicly-financed early childhood education and care services. They should also support developing countries to invest in infrastructure that reduces the burden of unpaid care work for women. To help pay for these services, G7 countries should get together and lead a global reform to close tax loopholes that allow rich corporations and individuals to avoid paying their fair share.”

 

On the new initiative on education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations:

“We’re pleased to see the Canada-led initiative address some of the barriers that keep women and girls in conflict situations from receiving a quality education. The rest of the G7 countries should commit to strengthening the initiative, and we urge them to go even further. There’s still many other barriers that keep women and girls from achieving their full potential.”

 

On climate change:

“That a G7 leader would leave the summit before the sessions on climate and the environment is shameful. Droughts, hurricanes, and floods, supercharged by climate change, are wrecking the lives of millions of poor people. Rising sea levels threaten the future of small island nations.

 

“G7 countries have to consider the specific needs of poor women, many of them farmers who depend on their land to feed themselves and their families. Climate adaptation finance must reach these women and their communities.”

 

Contact information

Simon Hernandez-Arthur in Quebec City | simon.hernandezarthur@oxfam.org | +1 585 503 4568 | Twitter: @SimonHernandez

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.