‘’A woman is like a tea bag, you can’t tell how strong she is until your put her in hot water’’ Eleanor Roosevelt
1st to 3rd of October were very special dates for me! It was an honor to attend W20 Summit in Argentina and I would love to share with you my insights on the event, what I found appealing and how did this event impact my personality, me as a human being and me as a woman!
First, let me share what W20 is and what they are aiming to do. Women 20 is an official engagement group of the G20 formed by an international network of women leaders from civil society organizations, the business sector, entrepreneurs and think tanks. Its objective is to influence decision-making groups in G20 to carry out policies towards gender equality, accompanying the goal of advocating for more prosperous and inclusive societies. This can be accomplished through more access to education, health, and political participation, but also ensuring the full participation of women in economic activities.
There were 4 main topics discussed in the Summit regarding women labor inclusion, financial inclusion, digital inclusion, and rural development.
Unfortunately, women worldwide are facing all of these issues. In some countries women are not treated with respect, they are considered as the lesser gender and we have had our share in the history books of suffering disparity and discrimination. But even today the issue is not solved.
Statistically speaking women earn 30% less than men pears even though they are part of the 60% of university graduates, fewer women use the internet comparing to the other gender, only 40% of women have access to a bank account and finally
did you know that women are responsible for producing half of the world’s food but only 4% of them receive an income out of it?
But why would we want to change things? Only because women woke up one day and they decided to do things differently? No, my friends, there are bigger issues behind this than just pure feminism. Taking a look beyond the superficial thoughts,
evidence shows that by closing the gender gap in economic participation, the global economy’s GDP would increase by 26% by the year 2025 (5.3 trillion dollars). Now that is a very big number, isn’t it?
Women need a voice, they have rights and this is why this Summit aims to give insights on how we can give solutions to such a big important matter.
I had the chance to meet some amazing people during my stay in Argentina and got inspired from some brilliant women who are in the frontier of what’s happening. I’m going to mention some of them that affected me directly and their amazing input on the event.
Citing Suzana Balbo, Women 20 Chair: “We want a world that doesn‘t leave people behind that includes everyone to leave a peaceful and sustainable world to our children and grandchildren”,
Journalist Pilar Rahola, Phicologyst & Journalist made the Opening Speech saying: ‘’We have changed the laws, but we haven’t changed the social paradigm’’
This is true cause I personally believe you can’t change people’s mindset so easily, it will need plenty of tools and people cooperating on the same subject. But it’s a start and you have to start somewhere…
Silvina Moschini, Founder & CEO of SheWorks very accurately said about digital inclusion: “The Around 51% of women with children leave their jobs due to rigid and obsolete, analog working models in a world with the digital economy. That is why we cannot any longer cling to rigid models that are geographically limited”.
Evelina Cabrera, President of “Female Football Association of Argentina opened her speech with a Call to Action for equality: "I invite you all to play a game where we leave aside our differences and focus on doing the goal that we seek, the Equality’’
Chetna Gala Sinha, Founder of Mann Deshi dedicated to the economic empowerment of rural women stated: “Women wanted to generate savings and there were no investors, these women taught me very much”.
Doesn’t it make you wonder? There are many women that have founded a business or have had an amazing idea but they have not been equally funded as men. This has to change! Women founders and CEOs can be as brilliant as Men in their job.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands made an appearance in W20 through video conference and added: “We are at a critical moment, the leaders have committed to writing to invest economically in women, but how do we now translate intentions into a concrete action plan for women?”
And the final closing speech was delivered by Magda Choque Vilca,
Agronomist, a descendant of the great cacique Viltipoco de Tilcara, known as “the queen of Andean potatoes” for her work to preserve the native cultivations of Northern Argentina. What an inspiring woman! Magda concluded her speech by saying:
“My daughters are part of a sikuris band. The sikus is a particular instrument because it is played by two: the first listens to the second and between the two they produce the melody. I wish all of us rural women could be like a sikus. That we listen to each other, let each one have its own sound, but being part of a joint sound.”
I came out of the event inspired, motivated, touched and with more dedication than before. I have to admit i felt quite selfish and lucky, cause i faced many difficulties during my life but i realized that there are women who don’t have a say at all, who are suppressed and have no voice of their own!
In conclusion i firmly believe that the solution to all issues is : EDUCATION. Education is the key to all doors, to financial inclusion, to increase chances in a labor market, to digital inclusion but most importantly to rural development of women. Rural women are those who suffer the most.
Unity can bring change! And i’m happy i was part of that change! I committed myself to this historical event not only because i’m a woman but because i believe in change, i believe in a better world and a better environment for our children. There’s lots of work to do, future awaits our commitment, everyone can involve, everyone can contribute not only to the summit but to the ACTION itself, out there where the real issues happen. Improving women’s lives is equal to a better economy, a better digital adoption and equality between genders! The solution is right in front of us, we just have to embrace it.