Time: 17 January, 2020
Saudi Arabia is preparing to host the 15th G20 Summit this year. As the Kingdom is a member of the G20 and of its Troika — a three-member committee comprising the current, previous and next host countries — this will enable Saudi Arabia to fully engage in shaping policies to overcome the challenges confronting the global economy.
During last year’s G20 Summit in Japan, Saudi Arabia joined an initiative on women’s empowerment. It also signed a pledge to promote women’s participation in the workforce, enhance their education and economic opportunities, support their involvement in small and medium-sized enterprises, and overcome gender inequalities to enhance their skills in the digital age.
Saudi Arabia has declared women’s empowerment to be at the forefront of its G20 agenda, as it is crucial for achieving inclusive, sustainable development goals. The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 states that women are a great asset that should be utilized.
Under the reform plan, by 2030 women’s participation in the workforce is anticipated to increase from 22 percent to 30 percent, and the overall unemployment rate is expected to fall from 12.7 percent to 7 percent. To achieve these goals, policies and legislation should be in place to encourage collaboration between the public and private sectors to create new economic opportunities for women.
As such, the focus of the Saudi-hosted G20 Summit, and the Kingdom’s goals and policies regarding women’s empowerment, are steps in the right direction. These steps are important in terms of turning rhetoric into reality.
• Eaman Aman is a freelance writer and researcher in Energy Affairs. She is also an advocate for sustainable solutions to tackle global challenges. #climate_change