The W20 Summit
On October 16-17, 2015, the first ever W20 Summit was hosted by Turkey at the Grand Tarabya Hotel in Istanbul. Representatives from G20 member states along with many other invited countries convened to discuss and conclude talks as regards the W20 Communiqué.
The Summit commenced with the W20 President Gülden Türktan and Turkey’s G20 Sherpa Ambassador Ayşe Sinirlioğlu addressing the audience.
Following the opening brief addresses, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, delivered a speech focusing on various issues. In his speech, Erdoğan highlighted the contemporary situation women experience in general on a global scale and emphasised on the benefits of the economic empowerment of women. Furthermore, he underlined the importance of the role the W20 has assumed and called for global leaders to acknowledge the potential output of the resulting communiqué.
Afterwards, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri delivered a speech. Her speech was followed by video addresses from Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent.
The day continued with a series of panels.
A panel was organized in which representatives from organizations forming the W20 Executive Committee came together to discuss the W20 agenda. The W20 Executive Committee is comprised of KAGIDER (Turkish Women Entrepreneurs Association), KADEM (Women and Democracy Association) and TIKAD (Turkish Businesswomen Association)
Subsequently, an outreach panel was organised where representatives from different regions across the globe came together to present and exchange views on different approaches on the empowerment of women.
The Summit proceeded with another panel comprising of representatives from all the Engagement Groups (B20, C20, L20, T20, Y20) under the auspices of the G20, where they shared views on the empowerment of women in conjunction with how it relates to their respective Engagement Group.
The Summit continued with intensive talks pertaining to the W20 Priority Policy Areas document. The talks, chaired by W20 President Gülden Türktan, were conducted through separate sessions under their own headings; and, included all the country representatives taking part in the Summit along with high level guest speakers.
The main headings discussed were on topics in accordance to “work – life balance with social care”, “women’s economic empowerment through education, employment and entrepreneurship”, “women empowerment monitoring”, “Women Leadership both in Public and Private Sector”, “Women’s Access to Finance and Productive Assets”, “Elimination of workplace discrimination, enforcing rights and promoting equal opportunities”, “Women’s leadership in sustainable, development and green growth” and “support for women owned SMEs and innovation”.
During the talks, exchanges of ideas were made relating to economic, social and technical challenges, along with relevant pitfalls, in which the W20 was committed to exerting more efforts on.
The discussions carried over to the entirety of the next day.
The Summit talks concluded with the adoption of the W20 Communiqué to be conveyed to the leaders of the G20 member states at the G20 Leaders Summit to be held in Antalya on November 15-16, 2015.
Various outside events, complementary to the Summit, were also held by the members of the W20 Executive Committee during the evenings.
Among the events was the Welcome Reception hosted by KAGIDER at the Big Chefs Tarabya Restaurant, Gala Dinner hosted by KADEM at the Four Seasons Bosphorus and a boat tour of the Bosphorus hosted by TIKAD.