W7 Statement on the Meeting of G7 Labor and Social Affairs Ministers 24 May 2022

May 24 2022 |

Demands for gender equality in labor and social affairs are almost as old as the global feminist movement itself. Where do we stand today?

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, women have lost 800 billion USD in income. It will take us another 267 years to achieve equal economic participation globally. We are witnessing a global care crisis of unknown dimension. Women, in all their intersecting identities, have and continue to carry the major burden of this crisis through unappreciated and undervalued paid and unpaid care work.

Facing this devastating record, Women7 call on G7 leaders to act now and to eliminate intersecting forms of discrimination against women in all their diversity in the world of work, social affairs, and entrepreneurship.

There persists an urgent need for improved and relevant education, training, and upskilling, as well as representation and meaningful participation of all healthcare workers – including mostly women migrant and informal healthcare workers – in policymaking. It is pivotal to acknowledge that care work is a “green job”, and that low and unpaid care work are systemically relevant for climate change resilience and adaptation.

W7 are concerned about the lack of civil liability rules throughout the whole value and supply chain. We call on G7 leaders to support the establishment of a gender-transformative and binding United Nations Treaty on Business and Human Rights.

In the face of multiple and intersecting global crises, G7 leaders must ensure that women and girls progress in the world of work, with full economic rights and opportunities. This is especially relevant for women confronted with and affected by conflict and disaster, crisis, and displacement, such as refugees and those fleeing from war.

Women7 call on G7 leaders

  1. to increase public spending on social infrastructure and gender-transformative health and care services by an additional 2% of GDP.
  2. to promote decent work, labor protection, collective bargaining and living wages for all health and care workers in formal and informal sectors.
  3. to ensure that legal regulations, policies, and practices in the areas of supply chains, entrepreneurship and economic participation are gender-transformative in line with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), ILO Conventions C177 and C190 and their General Recommendations.
  4. Oblige companies and governmental institutions to regularly conduct transparent pay-equity audits guaranteeing the right to full and transparent information for all employees and introduce mandatory minimum living wages as the most effective way to reduce the gender pay gap.

It is high time to deliver on gender equality and to work towards a gender-transformative labor and social affairs policy.