Image of SI Advocacy Advisor Pat black smiling is positioned next to a white SI logo

The W7 Summit

A blog by SI Advocacy Advisor, Pat Black.

At the end of May, SI participated for the first time in the W7 (Women 7) Summit  with the involvement of Pat Black, SI Advocacy Advisor, who was appointed as a W7 Gender Equality Advisor to the G7, taking up her role in January 2022. 

What is Women7 or W7?

  • A group of global civil society organisations that come together to promote proposals on gender equality and women’s rights within the G7 process.
  • Aim to build on feminist principles of inclusion and intersectionality, to critically reflect on and inform G7 outcomes.
  • Objective is to ensure that G7 leaders make concrete political and financial commitments that can have a tangible, lasting and transformative impact on the lives of women and girls in all their diversity.
  • Women7 NGO hosts rotate on an annual basis along with the G7 presidencies. 2021 UK, 2022 Germany, 2023 Japan.

The W7 dialogue is a multi-stage consultation process on both the national and international level, consisting of several discussion formats, roundtables and advocacy campaigns that will be ongoing throughout 2022. The three-month consultation process of the W7 Advisors, culminating in the W7 summit, formed the centerpiece of the W7 Dialogue. Through a powerful and inclusive process, Women7 aims to place gender equality high on the political agenda and ensure that G7 leaders adopt concrete political and financial commitments that lead to a tangible, lasting and transformative impact.

W7 meets each year with the leadership of W7 rotating every year following the G7 Presidency which for 2022 is with Germany. The W7 Summit was the precursor event to the G7 meeting of global leaders in June in Germany. Every year the G7 or Global 7 major political leaders meet ‘informally’ and receive information, advice and recommendations for action on pressing issues from various Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) groups (known as Engagement Groups). The W7 and other Engagement Groups prepared communiques with strong recommendations which were presented before the G7 meeting to all the global leaders. W7 is made up of ‘experts’ on gender equality and women’s rights, some with very specialist experience and knowledge, others more general. Other Engagement Groups included Civil Society (C7), Youth (Y7) and business. They all hold the G7 leaders’ feet to the fire on many current issues and in the case of the W7 issues related to gender equality/gender equity/women’s human rights. Believe me we found a great many – it was difficult restricting ourselves to a few!

What did we do?

On January 20 2022, the W7 Kick-off Event led by German Women’s Organisations  Deutscher Frauenrat  celebrated the start of the W7 Dialogue under the German G7 Presidency. That date also marked the beginning of an international consultation process led by W7 Advisors who met for the first time following the event. The group of 60 Advisors covered many countries, with especially strong representation from the Global South.

From February to April 2022, W7 Advisors formed working groups to develop proposals on gender equality and women’s rights, focusing on six key areas: Gender-equal COVID Recovery; Women’s economic empowerment, justice and rights; Climate Justice; Feminist Foreign Policy; Ending Gender-based Violence, and Accountability Mechanisms. All the groups worked very hard, exchanging views rapidly thanks to technology.  Reaching final agreement on the wording of the documents to be presented was difficult.  We were advised that any document which we produced had to be short and sharp as the political leaders would not have time to absorb lengthy arguments. However, we believe that we have presented a strong case for women’s rights across a range of scenarios in a brief Communique. The whole group also felt it was important that we went beyond this short description of the points we wanted to make so an Implementation Plan giving more detail was also developed and presented.

Handover of Communique and Implementation Plan

At the hybrid W7 Summit in Berlin on May 24‒25, 2022, Women7 invited civil society representatives to hand over the final W7 recommendations to the G7 President and discuss its key demands. Germany’s Federal Chancellor Scholz received these documents, the W7 Communiqué and Implementation Plan, with other German Government Ministers also present at the Summit.

What happened at G7?

Inevitably the main discussion points between the G7 leaders at this June Summit have been dominated by the impact of the conflict in Ukraine, the ripple effect of sanctions and food security and the energy crisis on the global economy. As far as we can tell none of the Communiques from the Engagement Groups have featured in discussions.  We hope that the continuing discussions behind the scenes will enable our recommendations to be considered and, most critically, acted upon.

What next?

Women7 will continuously advocate for the work we have set out within the G7 negotiation framework to ensure that G7 leaders, working groups and ministerial meetings translate the W7 recommendations into action. There will be a meeting of the G7 Equality Ministers on October 13 -14, and a W7 event is being planned around these dates.

Everyone in the W7 Group will continue to press their own Governments to act and to deliver on previous promises.  Our slogan has been “Time to Deliver” – for human rights for women this has taken on an even greater urgency.”

Click HERE for additional information about Y7 and G7.

Click here for more updates from Pat at the W7.

1 comment

  1. Ann Truscott 4 weeks ago 19th July 2022

    Have you forwarded this to Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4…?

    REPLY

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