The 2022 W7 process will focus on the following areas of action:

Women’s economic empowerment, justice and rights

In 2021, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Monitor showed that during the pandemic more women than men lost their jobs. Besides loss of employment and a so-called “she-cession” in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, a “re-traditionalization” of gender roles emerged. The gender pay gap is closely linked to the gender care gap.

If societies are to sustainably recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, G7 countries must not lose sight of the particular needs of women workers, producers, and entrepreneurs in all their diversity when providing financial incentives and other resources within a just economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic will have an impact on the world, including the G7 countries, for some time to come, so we must work together to find gender-just ways out of the crisis. The pandemic has exposed structural inequalities across all spheres. The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report found that the pandemic has set back progress to gender equality by a generation – extending the time needed to achieve parity between the genders from 99.5 years to 135. These effects are amplified for women, girls and vulnerable groups living in countries suffering from fragile economies, conflict, or national emergencies.

Gender-responsive financing, progressive taxes, and debt relief for poorer countries are just a few of the macro-economic measures that W7 has previously urged the G7 to address in its Finance Track discussions. We need to make sure the recovery is gender just and helps build fairer societies.

Gender Equal COVID Recovery

Climate Justice

The climate crisis is not gender neutral. Those who have contributed least to the problem are more likely to experience the impacts of climate change – marginalized women and girls in particular. The climate crisis affects the rights of people of all genders and undermines efforts to combat poverty and inequality.

As some of the largest carbon emitters, G7 countries must demonstrate leadership in implementing the Paris Agreement and mobilizing climate finance that supports gender justice and human rights. Women7 will thus continue to urge G7 leaders to acknowledge that women, girls and gender-diverse people are critical agents of change, and that their leadership is essential to understanding climate impacts and developing effective mitigation and adaptation responses that leave no one behind.

Gender inequality, climate injustice and unequal power relations are central obstacles to sustainable peace. Focusing on rights for girls and women in all their diversity, on resources for gender equality work, on equal representation of all genders in policy-making, and a reflective assessment of unequal power structures are key components of a feminist foreign policy.

Women7 has highlighted the need to enact a radical shift in foreign policy towards a feminist approach, and calls on the G7 to adopt a gender-sensitive and intersectional understanding of security and foreign policy matters.

Feminist Foreign Policy

Ending Gender-Based Violence

Across the world, including in G7 countries, gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, half the world’s population was not receiving essential health services – a state of affairs that has significantly worsened as countries’ health systems have come under strain during the crisis. COVID-19 has also caused disruptions to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which are often the first things to be deprioritized during a crisis.

The pandemic has highlighted the limits of social protection and safe spaces, and has clearly demonstrated that underfunded, understaffed health facilities and poorly coordinated essential services are not in a position to adequately prevent and respond to GBV/VAWG.

According to the World Bank, less than one third of countries disaggregate statistics by gender on informal employment, entrepreneurship and unpaid work, or collect data on violence against women. These constitute gender data gaps. On a global level, only 39% of the gender data needed to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is available. True progress needs data and a way to track it over time.

The G7 currently lack a mechanism by which their fulfilment of gender equality commitments can be measured. The G7 Accountability Working Group launched in 2009 focuses only on development-related commitments, which means commitments within domestic or wider foreign policy areas are currently not covered by any accountability mechanism. There is a gap in the G7 monitoring and accountability infrastructure, which threatens to undermine G7’s delivery of gender equality commitments.

Accountability Mechanisms

The 2022 W7 process will focus on the following action areas:

Women’s economic empowerment, justice and rights

In 2021, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Monitor showed that during the pandemic more women than men lost their jobs. Besides loss of employment and a so-called “she-cession” in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, a “re-traditionalization” of gender roles emerged. The gender pay gap is closely linked to the gender care gap.

Women7 has already shown that traditional approaches to financial inclusion for women have proven insufficient, particularly for the most marginalized. Small changes that seek to incorporate women into an unequal system which continues to deny them access to vital public services are not only inadequate, they also perpetuate existing gaps. If societies are to sustainably recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, G7 countries must not lose sight of the particular needs of women workers, producers, and entrepreneurs in all their diversity when providing financial incentives and other resources within a just economy.

Gender Equal COVID Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic will have an impact on the world, including the G7 countries, for some time to come, so we must work together to find gender-just ways out of the crisis. The pandemic has exposed structural inequalities across all spheres. The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Report found that the pandemic has set back progress to gender equality by a generation – extending the time needed to achieve parity between the genders from 99.5 years to 135. These effects are amplified for women, girls and vulnerable groups living in countries suffering from fragile economies, conflict, or national emergencies.

Gender-responsive financing, progressive taxes, and debt relief for poorer countries are just a few of the macro-economic measures that W7 has previously urged the G7 to address in its Finance Track discussions. We need to make sure the recovery is gender just and helps build fairer societies.

Climate Justice

The climate crisis is not gender neutral. Those who have contributed least to the problem are more likely to experience the impacts of climate change – marginalized women and girls in particular. The climate crisis affects the rights of people of all genders and undermines efforts to combat poverty and inequality.

As some of the largest carbon emitters, G7 countries must demonstrate leadership in implementing the Paris Agreement and mobilizing climate finance that supports gender justice and human rights. Women7 will thus continue to urge G7 leaders to acknowledge that women, girls and gender-diverse people are critical agents of change, and that their leadership is essential to understanding climate impacts and developing effective mitigation and adaptation responses that leave no one behind.

Feminist Foreign Policy

Gender inequality, climate injustice and unequal power relations are central obstacles to sustainable peace. Focusing on rights for girls and women in all their diversity, on resources for gender equality work, on equal representation of all genders in policy-making, and a reflective assessment of unequal power structures are key components of a feminist foreign policy.

Women7 has highlighted the need to enact a radical shift in foreign policy towards a feminist approach, and calls on the G7 to adopt a gender-sensitive and intersectional understanding of security and foreign policy matters.

Ending Gender-Based Violence

Across the world, including in G7 countries, gender-based violence (GBV) and violence against women and girls (VAWG) have intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before the pandemic, half the world’s population was not receiving essential health services – a state of affairs that has significantly worsened as countries’ health systems have come under strain during the crisis. COVID-19 has also caused disruptions to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which are often the first things to be deprioritized during a crisis.

The pandemic has highlighted the limits of social protection and safe spaces, and has clearly demonstrated that underfunded, understaffed health facilities and poorly coordinated essential services are not in a position to adequately prevent and respond to GBV/VAWG. Displaced people and those living in occupied territories or conflict zones are at particular risk, including of human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Accountability Mechanisms

According to the World Bank, less than one third of countries disaggregate statistics by gender on informal employment, entrepreneurship and unpaid work, or collect data on violence against women. These constitute gender data gaps. On a global level, only 39% of the gender data needed to measure progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is available. True progress needs data and a way to track it over time.

The G7 currently lack a mechanism by which their fulfilment of gender equality commitments can be measured. The G7 Accountability Working Group launched in 2009 focuses only on development-related commitments, which means commitments within domestic or wider foreign policy areas are currently not covered by any accountability mechanism. There is a gap in the G7 monitoring and accountability infrastructure, which threatens to undermine G7’s delivery of gender equality commitments.