The G20 and Gender Equality

How the G20 can advance women's rights in employment, social protection and fiscal policies

Publication date: 13 July 2014
Author: Shawna Wakefield, Gender Justice Lead, Oxfam

Across G20 countries and beyond, women are paid less than men, do most of the unpaid labor, are over-represented in part-time work, and are discriminated against in the household, in markets and in institutions.

In 2012 in the Los Cabos Declaration, G20 leaders committed to tackling the barriers to women’s full economic and social participation and to expanding opportunities for women in their countries.

Oxfam and the Heinrich Böll Foundation support this commitment, and this paper calls on the G20 to assess its agenda and act on its commitments to women’s rights and gender equality. During the Australian presidency, the G20 has the chance to make good its promises for truly inclusive growth – working to make women more resilient to economic crisis through gender-sensitive economic growth and gender-equal employment policies.

The G20 countries' commitment to gender equality and inclusive growth can only be realized if they take action to rectify the shortcomings of an economic system that excludes or devalues what matters most: the realization of the rights and dignity of all human beings and protection of the natural environment.

Oxfam recommends that the G20:

  • Treats gender inequality as a systemic issue – including in governance and accountability mechanisms
  • Promotes gender-equitable fiscal policy
  • Ensures decent work and social protection

The full list of recommendations are outlined in the attached report.