La Pietra Coalition Launches Petition Urging G20 Countries to Increase Global Economic Opportunities for Women

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La Pietra Coalition, an innovative alliance to advance economic growth for women, announced the launch of a global petition urging the G20 to increase women’s economic opportunities around the globe. World Bank is among strong international supporters calling for broadening financial inclusion to accelerate women’s economic growth.

“Women are the great untapped potential of the global economy. In today’s challenging economic environment, no country or society can move forward while leaving half of its population behind,” said Sandra Taylor, senior director of La Pietra Coalition.

Today, La Pietra Coalition, an innovative alliance to advance economic growth for women, announced the launch of a global petition urging the G20 [the leaders of the world’s 19 largest national economies and the European Union] to increase women’s economic opportunities around the globe. The petition is part of the Coalition’s mission to expand opportunities for women in the global economy as producers, entrepreneurs, employees and consumers.

Specifically, the La Pietra Coalition petition asks the G20 to broaden its work on financial inclusion in an effort to recognize the critical role women play in the global economy and ensure women have equal access to finance and other economic opportunities. Through the petition drive, the Coalition aims to demonstrate the strong international support that exists for initiatives investing in women’s economic growth. Among these are the World Bank’s “World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development” (http://bit.ly/mXgvcV), issued this week. The petition will be presented to the G20 Member States at the organization’s next meeting on November 3 and 4 in Cannes, France.

“Decades of returns on international investment in women have shown us the value of investing in women. However, we recognize that an increased investment will happen only when the most powerful and influential economies of the world acknowledge that women’s economic growth is a powerful tool to improve communities and nations,” said Sandra Taylor, senior director of La Pietra Coalition.

“If we can unleash the economic potential of women from around the world that are today under leveraged or suppressed, it would be the equivalent of having an additional one billion individuals in the workforce, contributing to the global economy,” notes Taylor. “By comparison, the countries of China and India each have one-billion-plus populations. Women are the next emerging market, the Third Billion, which can drive global economic growth."

The La Pietra Coalition petition’s demands come in response to the G20’s 2010 launch of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, which focuses on the over two billion people, worldwide, excluded from the financial system and aligns with the Coalition’s principles of:

  •     Improving women’s access to loans and finance;
  •     Including women-owned business in government procurement;
  •     Restoring property and land rights for women; and
  •     Giving organizations that represent women’s economic interests a seat at the global table.    

The petition fits in the Coalition's overall mission to help prepare and enable women in developing, emerging and industrialized nations over the next ten years to participate in the global economy, by creating positive growth opportunities for them through government policies and private sector engagement and investment.

“Women are the great untapped potential of the global economy. In today’s challenging economic environment, no country or society can move forward while leaving half of its population behind,” says Taylor. “We urge everyone to take a moment to sign the petition and share it with friends and colleagues so we can be a powerful voice with the G20 leaders.”

To view a video on the initiative and sign the petition, please visit: http://www.thethirdbillion.org

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Shelby Merkel
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