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G7 Presidency

No success without equality

Women must play a bigger role in politics, business and society. This was the conclusion reached by German Chancellor Merkel at the G7 dialogue forum with women from around the world. Merkel invited women from business, science and research and civil society to participate in the dialogue on 16 and 17 September

German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and participants at the family photo for the G7 dialogue forum. The Federal Chancellor invited women from business, science and research and civil society to participate in the dialogue. Photo: Bundesregierung/Güngör

Education and professional development are the keys to success and the basis for the economic participation of women, explained Merkel. During Germany’s G7 Presidency it was therefore decided to significantly increase the investment in education and professional development for girls and women in developing countries. But there is still a need for improvement in developed countries. Although 50% of women are employed worldwide, this is often in precarious forms of employment.

Diversity produces the best results

Germany itself is for example not very advanced regarding women in leadership positions. Merkel therefore said how she is looking forward to speaking to representatives of countries that have made more progress in this regard. Structural differences between women and men are also widespread regarding “entrepreneurial independence.”

It is very important that women establish networks, to overcome these structures. Because networks result in flatter hierarchies, a faster exchange of information, and it has been shown time and again that diversity produces the best results. Society and business cannot be successful if equality doesn't function properly.

Further topics of the dialogue are political participation, opportunities for women in the digital world, and women's access to primary healthcare. The current refugee movement has shown that digitalisation can change lives in the whole world, said Merkel. It is changing the working conditions and also the living conditions of women. But the volume of information alone doesn't mean that one is also wise. One must learn to set priorities.

High-level guests in Berlin

The event is part of a comprehensive dialogue with civil society. But there are also high-ranking political representatives as guests of the Chancellor. Participants in the dialogue include the Jordanian Queen Rania, the Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, and the Head of the United Nations Development Programme, Helen Clark.

The event at the Federal Chancellery is part of a comprehensive dialogue with civil society during Germany’s G7 Presidency. In the run-up to the G7 summit in Elmau, the Federal Chancellor has already engaged in dialogue with representatives of the science and research community, the business community, the trade unions, non-governmental organisations and young people from G7 states. At the current dialogue forum, more than 50 women from around 30 countries are discussing strengthening the role of women in industrialised and developing countries.

Sep 16, 2015