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Executive Summary for June 8th

In our wrap of gender equality news this week: women’s rights leaders call on the G7 to invest in women and girls, a new entrepreneurship initiative launches in India, and details are published on India’s gender gap.

Published on June 8, 2018 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Calls for Gender Equality Commitments at G7

G7 leaders are meeting today and tomorrow in Charlevoix, Quebec, and gender equality will a “top priority,” officials say.

Earlier this week, the Gender Equality Advisory Council, appointed by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, which includes high-profile women’s rights leaders such as Oxfam’s Winnie Byanyima, U.N. Women’s Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde, released a set of recommendations for the summit.

The council called for G7 members to commit to spending 0.7 percent of national income on foreign aid – the United Kingdom is currently the only country to meet this target – and ensure that 20 percent of aid goes to programs focused on women and girls. Canada currently spends 0.26 percent of national income on overseas assistance, but through its feminist international assistance policy aims to dedicate 95 percent of that aid to women and girls by 2022.

The council’s other recommendations included a commitment to increase the number of women on boards, invest in childcare, legislate for parental leave, provide incentives for equal pay and reduce the labor force participation gap by 25 percent. Malala Yousafzai, also a member of the advisory council, has requested that G7 leaders invest $1.3 billion in girls’ education through her charity, the Malala Fund. The gender equality council will meet G7 leaders on Saturday morning.

U.N. Launches Women’s Entrepreneurship Consortium in India

United Nations India and government think-tank NITI Aayog have announced the formation of a new association to help promote female entrepreneurs in India.

The Investor Consortium for Women Entrepreneurs brings together eight venture capital groups and funding agencies to connect small business owners with the relevant funding, skills and expertise to allow them to grow.

The aim of the consortium is to build a better investment ecosystem for women entrepreneurs, but no announcement on funding has yet been made. Seed Fund, SIDBI, Aavishkar, Omidyar Network, Ankur Capital, Trust Group, WeHub and Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs India are all members of the new association.

As News Deeply reported this week, Indian women in investment circles face systemic discrimination and a boys’ club culture in pursuing their careers.

This new initiative is only the latest to target women’s entrepreneurship: it follows the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, co-founded by Ivanka Trump, and the the African Women Leaders Fund, launched last month.

Wide Pay Gap Between Similarly Qualified Men and Women in India

Indian women in urban areas earn 22 percent less than men with similar qualifications, and those in rural areas earn 37 percent less, recent government data has shown. An analysis by IndiaSpend further shows that women with degrees earn 24 percent less than their male counterparts.

Education also makes a bigger difference to women’s earnings than men’s. In urban areas, graduate women earn four times more than women who cannot read or write, while the difference is only three times for men.

India has one of the largest gender pay gaps and lowest labor force participation rates in the world, according to the International Labour Organization.

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