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PM Draghi’s message at the opening of the G20 Conference on Women’s Empowerment

Thursday, 26 August 2021

President of the Council of Ministers Mario Draghi’s message at the opening of the G20 Conference on Women’s Empowerment.

Dear Ministers,
Distinguished Delegates,
 
Today marks the first conference in G20 history on gender equality. I am very proud it takes place during Italy’s presidency and I am grateful to Minister Bonetti for her excellent preparatory work.

Italy is fully committed to tackling gender inequalities and we believe the G20 can play an essential role in supporting women worldwide. Under Italy’s presidency, we have taken concrete steps to improve women’s position in the workforce, empower female leaders and remove obstacles that hold women back in their careers.

In June, we adopted a roadmap to reach and go beyond the goal set in Brisbane to reduce gender gaps in labour force participation in G20 countries by 25% by 2025. The roadmap includes 17 indicators to monitor progress towards full gender equality in the world of work.

Any loss of female talent is a loss for all of us.

Today’s meeting has been made all the more urgent by the crisis in Afghanistan. We must not delude ourselves: Afghan girls and women are on the brink of losing freedom and dignity and of returning to their dismal state of two decades ago. They risk becoming once again second-class citizens, who face violence and are discriminated against systematically, just because of their gender.

The G20 must do all it can to ensure that Afghan women preserve their fundamental freedoms and basic rights, especially the right to education. Progress made over the past twenty years must be preserved.

As G20 countries, we have an obligation not only to our own citizens, but to the global community. We must defend the rights of women everywhere and especially where they are under threat.

I wish you a very successful conference and I look forward to your conclusions.