1. We, representatives of the 2016 Women 20 (W20) Meeting, met in Xi'an, China, from 24 to 26 May 2016 to discuss gender equality perspectives in global economic governance; women's employment, entrepreneurship and social protection; women's role in the digital economy; and interconnected and innovative women's network.
2. We reaffirm that gender inclusiveness, gender equality, and women's rights are essential for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
3. We are pleased that the G20 Leaders acknowledged the crucial role of women in achieving economic prosperity and reaffirmed their commitment to taking concrete actions for ensuring gender equality and women's full participation in economic and social affairs and for their economic empowerment.
4. We welcome the establishment of Women 20 as an outreach group of the G20, and appreciate Turkey's hosting of the first W20 Meeting in October 2015.
A Gender Equality Perspective in Global Economic Governance
5. Since the global financial crisis in 2008, the world economy has undergone profound and complicated changes and the road to recovery has been uneven across countries, with some still experiencing the negative effects of the global financial crisis. In addition, new issues, risks and challenges continue to emerge. Therefore, it is increasingly important to ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth by improving global economic governance and making it accessible to women and more equitable and inclusive. The potential for the participation in and contribution of women to the economy is not being fully realized, nor is their representation and voice in global economic governance. It is critical that the G20 acknowledge that gender-based inequalities are a systemic aspect of the current functioning of the world economy. We, therefore, encourage G20 members to take the following measures:
Women's Employment and Entrepreneurship and Social Protection
6. Women are still lagging far behind men in terms of economic participation and are not fully reaping the benefits of economic growth. Among G20 members, the average labor participation rate is 56% for women and 86% for men. Women continue to concentrate in sectors, industries, occupations, and jobs with lower job security and wages. They are overrepresented in small businesses, often with low profitability, and in the informal economy with limited, if any, access to social security, and receive inadequate recognition for their unpaid work. Compared with their male counterparts, women still face more obstacles in accessing land, funding, loans, markets and other productive resources in their entrepreneurship efforts. Women entrepreneurs find it difficult to gain necessary market and financial information, operating skills and other services and support. We, therefore, encourage G20 members to take the following measures:
Women's Role in the Digital Economy
7. The rapid development and widespread use of information and communication technology (ICT) has enabled women to enhance development capabilities and competitiveness in the labor market, created new and tremendous opportunity for women's entrepreneurship and employment, and facilitated women's access to market information, social networks and finance. On the other hand, the digital gap has also widened gender disparity in the labor market participation and wealth creation, and restricted women's role in the digital economy. Women still encounter many constraints in entrepreneurship and employment and face obstacles in full and equal participation in the digital economy. We, therefore, encourage G20 members to take the following measures:
Interconnected and Innovative Women's Network
8. Women's networks play a crucial role in promoting gender equality and the development of women, and together with women entrepreneurs'associations can create more employment opportunities and new sources of economic growth. However, due to lack of human, material and financial resources, women's organizations and professional associations cannot play their role effectively. In addition, there is potential for greater cooperation among organisations. In this connection, we encourage G20 members to take the following measures:
9. We reaffirm the importance of the monitoring framework included in the Istanbul W20 Communiqué to track G20 members'progress in delivering on their gender equality commitments.
10. W20 will continue to work with intergovernmental organisations, including UN Women and ILO.
11. We will submit this W20 Meeting Communiqué to the 2016 G20 Summit.
12. We thank China for its leadership in 2016 and look forward to our next W20 Meeting.
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