Time to Deliver! International W7 Kickoff on January 20

20 January 2022 |

„Time to deliver!“ was the motto of the 2022 Women7 (W7) Kickoff on January 20. On the occasion of Germany’s G7 Presidency, the National Council of German Women’s Organizations, Deutscher Frauenrat, invited representatives of international civil society to celebrate the start of the W7 Dialogue. Over 185 participants joined the digital kickoff conference. Together, they called upon G7 Leaders to deliver on promised gender equality commitments and to mobilize financial resources for gender-just action.

Agenda W7 Kickoff Dialogue 2022

Moderated by W7 Project Coordinator, Caroline Ausserer, the event featured important G7 stakeholders and civil society representatives to discuss the role of gender equality in the 2022 G7 Agenda. President of the Deutscher Frauenrat, Dr. Beate von Miquel, made the opening with a clear and distinct message to the G7 Presidency:

“The leadership of feminist voices, including from the Global South, are essential to developing effective responses to the challenges of our time. Gender equality must be the basis for G7 discussions and decisions to address these challenges. The German Government must show a clear commitment to listen to these voices”.

The opening was followed by the newly appointed Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizen, Women and Youth – Anne Spiegel – who celebrate the start of the W7 Dialogue with a brief keynote: “There is still so much to do to achieve gender equality and we need both – men and women. I am personally fed up with only women talking about gender equality”, the Minister stated.

“How will the G7 Presidency account of commitments made on gender equality?” was the topic of the subsequent interview with Dr. Jörg Kukies, State Secretary of the Federal German Chancellery and G7/ G20 Sherpa and Prof. Jutta Allmendinger, President of the Social Science Research Center Berlin and Member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council 2021 and moderated by Juliane Rosin, Director of International Gender Equality Policy at Deutscher Frauenrat.

“We need the G7 to listen” W7 Project Coordinator explained when introducing the 2022 W7 roadmap: A multi-stage consultation process on both the national and international level, consisting of several discussion formats and roundtables shall feed into the three-month consultation process of the W7 Advisors, culminating in the W7 summit on May 24-25, 2022.

The following panel discussion focused on lesson learned from previous W7 Presidencies and the question: “How to ensure the G7 promotes gender equality?”. Beth Woroniuk, Policy Lead at the Equality Fund shared her experiences from co-chairing the 2018 W7 Dialogue during the Canadian G7 Presidency and inter alia emphasized the importance of mainstreaming gender equality throughout all G7 Engagement Groups. Ludovica Anedda, Gender Equality Advocacy Officer at CARE France revealed her lesson learned from advocating gender equality during the French G7 Presidency in 2019 and emphasized the importance of participating in and feeding into G7 negotiations at all levels. Spogmay Ahmad, Global Policy Advocate at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) described her experience of the change of government in the United States and its impact on the role of gender equality issues. She also presented the ICRW Report Card Platform, which serves as an important mechanism for accountability on G7/G20 commitments, among other things.

Jessica Woodroffe, previous W7 Co-Chair during UK’s Presidency and Director of the Gender & Development Network, presented a concise set of advice for successful lobby strategies in the G7. The panel agreed that funding and resources are essential and needed to ensure meaningful participation of feminist civil society in decision-making: “I think it’s very important to emphasize that decision-makers need to do this work on gender equality as part of their day job rather than just relying once again on women’s unpaid labour“, Woodroffe said. Françoise Moudouthe, Executive Director at the African Women’s Development Fund provided an insightful perspective on the role of the G7 for global action on gender equality, especially when it comes to impactful action in the Global South: “It is time to increase resources for feminist movements in the Global South during this critical moment of the COVID pandemic. It’s past time to provide them with more long-term and flexible funding”, Moudouthe stated during the panel.

Following the public W7 Kickoff event, W7 Advisors met for a constituent meeting to form working groups and to begin consultations on W7 policy demands.