The Global Eye in dialogue with Ambika Vishwanath, Co-Founder & Director, Kubernein Initiative. Ambika is a geopolitical analyst and water security specialist with experience in the field of governance and foreign policy. She has led track two diplomacy efforts and consulted with several governments and international organizations in the MENA region, Europe and India, and helped shape their policies in the field of conflict resolution, water diplomacy and security
Why is women-led development becoming decisive ?
The use of the term ‘women-led development’ marks a subtle but powerful change from the previously used ‘women empowerment’. Women-led development underscores that women are (and should be) at the forefront and driving force of their development and economic success, as ooposed to constantly being recipients of policies or actions designed without their input. Ultimately a countries growth cannot happen without women and women’s active leadership.
Additionally, acknowledging the women-led development as a key pillar in the G20 presidency has ensured that gender is a part of most if not all G20 related discussions which is an important shift from the siloed discussions withint only one of two working groups that do mot permeate the others aspects of the discussions.
The centrality of women is crucial and transversal in the polycrisis the planet is experiencing. It is also necessary for achieiving the SDGs. Is the awarebess at the level of the international community ?
Yes, I would say that there is a growing international recognition of the crucial role of women in addressing global challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While efforts are underway to promote gender equality in almost every sphere of life, but the level of awareness and implementation varies from country to country, which is not only important but needs to be understood globally. Every society is different, and addressing gender inequality requires context-specific interventions, we cannot have blanket ideas for gender related interventions and global actions and where financing is directed also need to acknowledge this.
The G20, at this stage, offers an opportunity to open up discussions on gender across different areas of the ongoing polycrisis, and there is immense value in embedding gender ‘transversally’ as mentioned in the question, across various verticals, to ensure inclusive perspectives in policy planning.
Had the G20 with the Indian presidency made any progress ? Are you opmistic about the Brazilian G20 Presidency ?
The Indian G20 presidency can be viewed as highly successful on many fronts. Given that the G20 is a normative body, the fact that it initiated and sustained conversations on inclusiveness, climate, energy, gender, the needs of the Global South, and built consensus between the largest economies of the world as seen in the Delhi Declaration make it a success. Additionally, it included the African Union in the G20. It also brought a much needed opening of India to the gloabl community in many ways, where the country in all it’s diversity was seen beyond the usual cities and tourist places. This becomes an important avenue not only for a more participatory approach to governance, but also to create more business and investment partnerships and opportunities.
However, this is just the first step, and these discussions should be sustained and make their way into policy. 2024 is a crucial year for India (we have our general elections) and the momentum of these discussions should continue.
Brazil’s G20 presidency, amongst other things, marks the first time that the G20 presidency has been rotated through three global south countries. As is the case with all G20 presidencies, continuity is always a challenge, which is made even trickier given the spate of global challenges we are witnessing. Brazil so far has announced three key priorities: social inclusion and the fight against hunger, phasing out fossil fuels in favour of renewable energy and reforming global economic governance. All of these are crucial themes for the international community, and I look forward to seeing Brazil leverage its expertise on climate and fighting economic inequality, ideally with a strong gender angle.
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