By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Ahead of the two-day G20 summit in Japan beginning on Friday, women leaders from across the globe seek greater roles in global issues.
During the ongoing Women Political Leaders (WPL) Summit in Tokyo, WPL President Silvana Koch-Mehrin stressed on Wednesday the importance of women’s rights for achieving "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs) espoused by the UN, daily Japan Times reported.
"There is of course the specific goal for equality between women and men, but all other goals have the importance of women recognized -- and women’s views as being key to -- any improvement in the other 16 policy areas [of the SDGs]," she said.
The recommendations of the summit -- a network of women who hold political office around the world -- will be submitted to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the G20 summit.
Japanese Parliament Speaker Tadamori Oshima said the opinions and insight of women would be "essential to the achievement of the (UN) SDGs".
"Having female leaders exchange opinions here at this summit will not only give us insight into what concrete actions are needed to achieve the SDGs, but also improve the visibility of female politicians," he added.
The global women network works for more female participation and their empowerment in politics.
In a prerecorded video speech, Shinzo Abe pledged to raise the issue at the upcoming G20 summit.
"I will ask G20 leaders to commit to providing an additional four million young women with at least 12 years of high-quality education by 2020, and reducing the workforce participation gap between men and women by 25 percent by 2025," he said.
At least 400 participants, mostly female political leaders, representing 87 countries have gathered in Tokyo to discuss the WPL’s 2019 theme -- taking action to advance society towards the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Tadamori expressed concern over the lack of female representation in Japanese politics.
"It’s true that women in Japan have not thrived in the realm of politics in comparison to other countries," he said, noting that the situation persists despite "an increasing awareness in recent years of the lack of diversity in politics."