Women’s Economic Imperative at the 2019 Global Solutions Summit

The Global Solutions Summit is an offshoot of the Global Solutions Initiative, with the intention that the Summit will be a place for “thought leaders and decision-makers” to meet, discuss, and provide insight into policy reformations on issues raised by the G20.  In preparation for the 2019 T20 and G20 Summits in Japan, the Global Solutions Summit 2019 focused on 10 critical issues that must be addressed in order to further the G20’s fundamental goal of promoting international financial stability, including sustainable development and Universal Health Care, the future of work and education for the digital age, and gender economic equity.

The overall theme of the Summit was highlighted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who emphasized greatly the importance of multilateralism and international cooperation when it comes to tackling international financial stability and inclusive growth.

The Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI) delegation included: Amadou Mahtar Ba – WEI Board Chair; Dinah Bennett – WEI Global Lead, Entrepreneurship; Yolanda Gibb – WEI Lead, Trade; Nicola Patterson – WEI Co-Lead, Thought Leadership; Douglas Richardson – WEI Board Member; and Margo Thomas, WEI Founder and CEO.

To start off the session, United Nations’ Fellow – Mayra Buvinic gave the keynote address. Dr. Buvinic stressed the importance of nonlinear and cross-cultural approaches to women’s empowerment, with particular emphasis on methodologies of data collection that accurately reflect the shortcomings of gendered economic policy.


Following the keynote, Gala Diaz Langou – CIPPEC and co-chair of the working group on gender economic equity – provided a summary of the working group’s policy briefs.

Dr. Thomas, co-chair of the working group on gender economic equity, served as moderator of the session “Promoting women’s economic empowerment; strengthening measurement to deepen impact.”

The following panelists shared their perspectives and ongoing work on women’s economic empowerment issues:

  • Eva-Maria Baumer, Vice President, Corporate Engagement, Office of the Vice Chairman, Mastercard, Inc.
  • Guadalupe Tagliaferri, Minister of Human Development and Habitat, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Fernando Filgueira, Centro de Implementación de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC)


In keeping with the summit’s key themes, the panel discussion emphasized the need for an inclusive approach bringing together governmental organizations, private corporations, civil society and academia to collaborate on setting aggressive targets, taking decisive action, and producing impact.

As the moderator, Dr. Thomas of WEI had the closing words of the discussion, where she left the panel and the audience with a challenge to further the agenda of women’s empowerment as an individual, as well as these words of wisdom moving forward: “SDG 5, is about women’s economic empowerment. United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez made the statement that you cannot achieve any of the other SDGs without SDG 5 because it cuts across all.”

Ultimately, WEI’s presence at the Global Solutions Summit was part of a broader push to empower women economically and more accurately measure the impact of these efforts. Women’s economic empowerment cuts across the 10 main issues highlighted at the Summit – each in its own way warrants a gendered focus to address the underlying social, cultural, and political factors and their implications for all – women, men, boys, and girls.

Link to more photos from the Global Solutions Summit 2019 here.