The G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment (MCWE) was held from 24th to 25th August, 2022 in Bali as part of the G20 Presidency of Indonesia. It is a crucial precursor to the 17th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit, scheduled for November, 2022 in Bali. The Summit will be the pinnacle of the G20 process and the intense work carried out within the ministerial meetings, working groups, and engagement groups throughout the year.

MSC (MicroSave Consulting) supported the MCWE 2022 by leading the gender recommendations on the digital economy. We worked with many stakeholders, including the W20 working group and the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection in Indonesia, to create recommendations on accelerating women’s participation in the digital economy and the future of work.

Indonesia’s Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection I Gusti Ayu Bintang Darmawati, delivered the welcome note on the first day of the conference. She hoped MCWE would serve as a valuable platform to share global ideas, future trends, and best practices on gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The conference covered three main topics: the care economy post-COVID-19, closing the digital gender gap, and women’s entrepreneurship. Leading the discussion on the second main topic, Graham N. Wright, Group Managing Director of MSC, spoke on “Bridging the gender digital divide: from intention to action, learning from best practices.” Graham shared insights on how women are less likely to own a smartphone than men, while 264 million women worldwide are unlikely to use mobile internet. Meanwhile, the digital exclusion of women can cost an estimated USD 1 trillion in GDP loss and a USD 24 billion missed in tax revenues annually, as per a study of 32 low and lower-middle income countries (LLMICs) by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) in 2021.

In the second session of the conference, participants discussed the digital gender gap. The session included ministerial statements from India, South Africa, South Korea, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, and Russia.

On the conference’s second day, Indonesia’s Minister of Women Empowerment and Child Protection presented the meeting’s summary notes and policy recommendations to the G20 leaders.

The Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection developed and presented six policy notes on education, employment, the digital economy, environment and climate change, energy transition, and health. The policy notes submitted by the MSC-led digital economy working group distill key recommendations to G20 ministers to bridge the digital gender gaps. The recommendations suggested to:

  • Increase the number of women-owned MSMEs in the digital economy;
  • Reduce the gender digital divide and upskill the capacity of women and girls to access digital platforms;
  • Increase public and private investment to promote a transformative digital economy;
  • Guarantee safe access and use of digital technologies;
  • Eliminate gender bias in AI and other emerging digital technologies.

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