Conrad Liveris

G20: “The Boys” backing gender equality

Image: AAP

The G20 gets things done when it decides to take action, but Conrad Liveris thinks they need to take a look in their own backyard first when it comes to gender equality.

 

I usually get a spring in my step when a group of powerful men collaborate to further gender equality. It is an effort in breaking down the barriers of feminism.

The G20 is expected to be releasing a policy to close the gender pay gap by 25 percent when they meet next week in Brisbane.

This will undoubtedly be one of the biggest steps in reducing gender inequality in years. But for an organisation that fails to be inclusive of women’s participation, I am concerned that they will merely proclaim, with limited action.

The G20 has a remarkable success rate on the issues it confronts. The leading global economic forum has a long-held interest in gender equality – but with this, a history of little action.

Of the 60 official participants there are only five women: the presidents of Argentina and Brazil, the Chancellor of Germany, the Prime Minister of South Korea and the Chair of the US Federal Reserve Bank.

That’s female representation of 8.33 percent.

Before we celebrate this impending action, the G20 should look at its own composition. They should be aiming to support more women into leadership within their own organisation, as well as foster this discussion globally.

Membership of the G20 should also be quizzing each other on the participation of women in society. Saudi Arabia has a vexed outlook on women, Japan’s Shinzo Abe is pushing gender equality to little avail and China seems unable to support women.

It is certainly nice to have gender equality on the agenda. It would be better if this weren’t a seemingly hypocritical afterthought.

 

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