Civil society experts about the C20 Working Group meeting in Berlin


Dr. Ralf Retter of German Sherpa office welcomes C20 working group meeting participants/ Photo:
Dr. Ralf Retter of German Sherpa office welcomes C20 working group meeting participants /

С20 Meeting March 16-17, 2017

February 16-17 the C20 held a work meeting in Berlin. With an overwhelming majority of participants from Germany, approximately 100 representatives from NGOs and civil society from various countries around the world were present at this meeting. Two representatives from Russia took part in the meeting: Denis Godlevsky of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, and Rebecca Perkins, an external expert of Oxfam on gender justice. They respectively took part in the Global Health and Inequality, Gender and Social Protection working groups. 

Prior to the meeting, consultations were taken with women’s rights activists in Russia. 25 individuals and organizations from at least 10 cities across the Russian Federation relayed the most pressing issues that are currently faced among women in their communities.

The bulk of the meeting was spent in the thematic working groups to develop the civil society asks for G20. Due to the German-dominated agenda and sheer disbalance of German participation, representatives elsewhere were limited in their ability to impact the recommendations.

The German-led C20 Steering Committee and working groups have come up with robust and ambitious recommendations. However there was obvious lack of engagement from Russian civil society (as well as several other G20 countries) in the process of developing the narrative and the Russian voice was very weak.

We want to bring attention to issues that do not come through clearly in the policy papers, especially in regards to inequality and gender. We call for G20 countries to:

  1. Guarantee access to sexual and reproductive human rights (SRHR) including abortion, IVF, and other procedures, and SRH education (including for adolescents and marginalized women) 
  2. Develop, enforce, and protect legal process for harassment, abuse and violence for women and girls

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