Women’s discussion forum calls for more female inclusivity in G20 policies

1 / 3
During the second leg of National Dialogues on Saudi Women in Jeddah on Feb. 28, 2020, participants pushed for the inclusion of gender equality and economic empowerment for women in policies and decisions made by G20 leaders. (AN photo)
2 / 3
During the second leg of National Dialogues on Saudi Women in Jeddah on Feb. 28, 2020, participants pushed for the inclusion of gender equality and economic empowerment for women in policies and decisions made by G20 leaders. (AN photo)
3 / 3
During the second leg of National Dialogues on Saudi Women in Jeddah on Feb. 28, 2020, participants pushed for the inclusion of gender equality and economic empowerment for women in policies and decisions made by G20 leaders. (AN photo)
Short Url
Updated 28 February 2020

Women’s discussion forum calls for more female inclusivity in G20 policies

  • This will help Saudi Arabia advance, says Princess Lulwah Al-Faisal
  • Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development soon to launch an initiative called Qiyadiyat (Female Leaders)

JEDDAH: The second leg of National Dialogues on Saudi Women promoted the inclusion of gender equality and economic empowerment for women in policies and decisions made by G20 leaders.

This came in conjunction with Al-Nahda Foundation becoming president of Saudi Arabia 2020 Women (W20), an official G20 initiative.

Speeches and discussions focused on technical and economic promotion of women, inclusion in work and leadership positions and empowering more women to be entrepreneurs.

“This will help the Kingdom advance. Whether in health advancement, women’s empowerment and cybersecurity, these discussions will help generations to come,” said Princess Lulwah Al-Faisal, vice chair of the board of trustees and the general supervisor of Effat University during her welcoming speech.

She emphasized the importance of cooperating with countries that are less fortunate and exchanging knowledge and resources.

W20 chair, Thoraya Obaid, guided the audience through a rundown of what W20 means and how the team behind it has worked to make it meaningful and unique.

“The W20 will focus on four pillars: Financial inclusion, how to get into the financial field and facilities that are already helping women, and technical inclusion, to make sure women are part of producing technology, not just using it. It will also focus on inclusion in labor,” said Obaid.

The fourth and final pillar, she explained, is usually chosen by the hosting county, through analyzing past G20 data, going through various reports relating to women’s issues, and delegations with organizations like the UN and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“Finally, we chose inclusion in decision-making: Not only to reach leadership positions, but also making those decisions,” she said.

As for the G20, Obaid said that the Kingdom specifically chose to focus on human empowerment for youth and women, preserving the earth and new horizons.

During the first panel discussion, Hind Al-Zahid, undersecretary for women’s empowerment at the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development, said that the share of women in leadership positions has gone up from 1.6 percent to 2.3 percent. 

She added that the ministry is aiming to reach 5 percent by the end of 2020.

Al-Zahid announced that by March 8, on International Women’s Day, the ministry will be launching an initiative called Qiyadiyat (Female Leaders), acting as the first ever platform for women in leadership positions to network.


It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

Updated 04 April 2020

It was Russia, not Saudi Arabia, that pulled out of OPEC+ deal: Saudi ministers

  • Saudi foreign and energy ministers say Moscow's claim that Kingdom withdrew from the OPEC+ deal was unfounded
  • They said it was Russia that abandoned the agreement, leading to a collapse in world oil prices

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil prices.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom was planning to get rid of shale oil producers."

"The minister affirmed that what was mentioned is fully devoid of truth and that the withdrawal of the Kingdom from the agreement is not correct," the statement said.

In fact Saudi Arabia and 22 other countries tried to persuade Russia to make further cuts and extend the deal, but Russia did not agree, it said.

Prince Farhan expressed surprise that Russia had to resort to "falsifying facts" when Saudi Arabia's stance on shale oil production is known, the statement said.

He pointed out that Saudi Arabia is one of the main investors in the energy sector in United States, implying that there is no reason for the Kingdom "to get rid of shale oil producers" as Russia has claimed.

He further said the Kingdom "is also seeking to reach more cuts and achieve oil market equilibrium for the interest of shale oil producers."

OPEC+ refers to the cooperation between members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC oil producers. The cooperation deal which called for cuts in production by the producers was meant to stabilize oil prices. 

In a separate statement, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman rejected Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak’s similar claim that the Kingdom refused to extend the OPEC+ deal and withdrew from it.

Novak "was the first to declare to the media that all the participating countries are absolved of their commitments starting from the first of April," Prince Abdulaziz said in a statement.

He said Novak's statement led other countries to decide "to raise their production to offset the lower prices and compensate for their loss of returns." 

On Thursday, Saudi Arabia called for an urgent meeting of oil exporters after US President Donald Trump said he expected the Kingdom and Russia to cut production by 10-15 million barrels per day.

Prince Farhan said he was "hoping that Russia would take the right decisions in the urgent meeting" so that a "fair agreement that restores the desired balance of oil markets" could be achieved.

The global oil market has crashed, with prices falling to $34 a barrel from $65 at the beginning of the year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Fuel demand has dropped by roughly a third, or 30 million barrels per day, as billions of people worldwide restrict their movements.

A global deal to reduce production by as much as 10 million to 15 million barrels per day would require participation from nations that do not exert state control over output, including the United States, now the world’s largest producer of crude.

A meeting of OPEC and allies such as Russia has been scheduled for April 6, but details were thin on the exact distribution of production cuts. No time has yet been set for the meeting, OPEC sources said.