Our second say in Delhi began with reflection on the first day’s central themes of discussion in our breakout strategy sessions. Regional delegates are taking part in one of four tracks over the course of the summit – Human Rights, Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurs in Handcrafts, and Political Participation. During these sessions, closed to external press, participants openly discuss barriers to opportunity and consider new ideas to breakthrough enduring obstacles.
Summit moderator Zain Verjee relayed the broad issues discussed in these sessions. In the Human Rights track, delegates focused on ways to ensure the effective implementation of laws, a challenge shared across countries and cultures. Collaboration and among government and NGOs was found to be one of the most successful ways to move legislation from theory to practice. Where government structures or processes for collaboration are ineffective or nonexistent, delegates agreed that NGOs must take the lead as initiators of these mechanisms for cross-sector synergy.
In the Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship track, delegates discussed legal barriers and corporate policies that disadvantage women in the workforce, including inflexible maternity policies or a lack of childcare services. All agreed on the need for gender budgeting as a method to further women’s access to economic opportunity. The importance of branding, networking, and access to markets was a key theme of the Entrepreneurs in Handcrafts sessions.
Our Political Participation track delegates emphasized coalition building as critical to women’s empowerment in parliament and civil society. The importance of data as a catalyst for the practical application of gender equality in policymaking was also highlighted.