"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] G7 Fact Sheet: Promoting Gender Mainstreaming through the Nexus Approach

[Place] Hiroshima, Japan
[Date] May 20, 2023
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

1. Background

Globally, a number of actions and achievements have contributed to the realization of gender equality in the past decades. Yet, progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals -- particularly Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) -- has been slow and uneven. In every region of the world, there remain deep-rooted and structural inequalities as well as outstanding systemic and legal barriers to the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in all their diversity in social, political and economic life. Moreover, in recent years, progress in some areas has been interrupted – or even reversed – due to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, frequent occurrence of natural disasters resulting from climate change, and situations of conflicts and instability, including Russia's ongoing and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine, which notably led to a surge in conflict-related gender-based violence. Also, human rights violations against women and girls are on the rise in Iran and Afghanistan.

However, women and marginalized groups are not only victims of unequal power relations; they are also agents of change. Their knowledge and capability to provide solutions should be valued when addressing global challenges. In particular, women peacebuilders, journalists, human rights defenders and civil society actors across the world have demonstrated notable resilience, agency and leadership. It is imperative for the G7 to lead global efforts towards achieving gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity.

2. Application of the nexus approach in all policy areas

It is necessary to accelerate progress through more consistent and intersectional gender mainstreaming and targeted actions in international efforts while overcoming any fragmentation and marginalization of gender issues. In this context, at the G7 Hiroshima Summit, the Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in all their diversity as well as marginalized groups, to realizing gender equality and the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms through enhancing the "nexus" between relevant policies, and to achieving transformation in the area of gender.

The nexus refers to a notion of organic interlinkages of policies toward gender equality. In 2019, the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted a recommendation on the "Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus" in order to effectively reduce people's needs, risks and vulnerabilities, support prevention efforts and thus, shift from delivering humanitarian assistance to ending need(Note1). G7 members believe that such a comprehensive approach is needed to further promote gender mainstreaming, and maximize the impact of gender equality policies and actions. G7 members emphasize the effectiveness of the nexus approach, in particular, among in the political/security, economic and social spheres to address gender inequalities in the world.

One example of the nexus approach can be seen in the process of implementation of Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. In order to implement the WPS agenda in all its dimensions -- in accordance with UN Security Council resolution 1325 and all subsequent WPS resolutions, promoting and ensuring the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in all their diversity in conflict prevention and resolution throughout the conflict cycle, and in peace processes is indispensable and UN member states are encouraged to develop National Action Plans to accomplish this goal, and to work with diverse sectoral partners to implement and create tangible results (political sphere). Women's resilience and economic empowerment by full access to financial tools to ensure full independence in the labour market are equally imperative for building a sustainable and peaceful society (economic sphere). Protection of women and girls in all their diversity as well as addressing root causes of gender inequality, ensuring prevention of sexual and gender-based violence by raising awareness for expanding men's involvement are also needed (social sphere). Furthermore, partnering with regional and international leaders, organizations, and nations to further pursue the global WPS agenda is a key component of this nexus approach (political/social sphere).

Education is another example. As stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, education promotes understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups(Note2). It develops the ability of non-violent conflict-resolution (political sphere). Promoting STEM education for girls is a matter of rights and access to equal opportunities (social sphere) but it will also boost the world economy and reshape the labour market increasing female talents and career opportunities (economic sphere). Excluding women from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade(Note3). Education is also an important tool for eliminating gender bias and stereotypes as well as tackling social norms and structural barriers to eliminate the root causes preventing gender equality (social sphere).

Gender equality is a basic prerequisite for women and girls to be able to exercise their full sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and have the opportunity to lead a healthy and self-determined life. The ability to exercise SRHR are also a prerequisite for all women and girls to be able to participate fully and equally in the labor market and in all areas of economic, political, cultural and social life. Thus, a comprehensive approach from the perspective of education, economic, political and social spheres are needed in order to protect the SRHR of all individuals.

Through the nexus approach, G7 members will explore the further mainstreaming of gender while ensuring that policies, programs and initiatives contribute effectively to the multi-sectoral dimensions of gender equality and women's empowerment, particularly in the three spheres above. Different conflicts and humanitarian crises exacerbate existing inequalities and place a disproportionate burden on women and girls in all their diversity, making it more difficult for them to realize full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in all their diversity in all spheres of life, and remains a large obstacle to achieve the full enjoyment of all their human rights. To address these challenges, a comprehensive and holistic nexus approach is critical. As each G7 member is adopting their respective approaches, a comprehensive and holistic approach is needed for domestic fields as well to accelerate progress and promote gender equality in the world.

3. Our actions

G7 members have already taken various actions to enhance the nexus approach; examples of such collective or individual initiatives across the globe are as listed below. These are meant to speak to each other in a complementary manner to further maximize the impact and contributions to the realization of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity.

(1) Projects, funds, etc.

a. Implementation of WPS agenda, including through support for victims and survivors of conflict- related sexual violence

i. G7 members have been implementing the WPS agenda through support for the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), and the Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), which supports delivery of the WPS agenda across all pillars, as well as enhancing their support to address sexual violence in conflict through international organizations and specific funds, such as the Global Survivors Fund (GSF) and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary- General on Sexual Violence in Conflict (OSRSG-SVC) to comprehensively support survivors.

ii G7 members have been working on promoting development and implementation of national and regional WPS Action Plans such as through the G7 Women, Peace and Security Partnerships Initiative, to ensure effective and inclusive conflict prevention and recovery, and to promote women's full, equal and meaningful participation in decision-making processes of peace building.

b. Supports for women's economic empowerment in developing counties

i. G7 members have been working on the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative (AFAWA), a pan-African initiative to bridge the $42 billion financing gap facing women in Africa. They have been taking a holistic approach through three pillars; finance, technical assistance and enabling environment, including supporting legal, policy and regulatory reforms.

ii. G7 members have been supporting the World Bank Group's Invest in Childcare Initiative, Uhuru Growth Fund I-A, Femme Brazil and the U.S. Gender Equity and Equality Action (GEEA) Fund, as well as implementing Accelerating Women's Empowerment in Energy (AWEE) project, growing green jobs for women such as through Power Africa within the framework Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII).

iii. G7 members have been supporting women entrepreneurs, in particular women-led SMEs, by scaling up access to financial products and services, building capacity, expanding networks, offering mentors, and providing opportunities to link with domestic and global markets through the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

iv. G7 members have been seeking to address the profound implications of the unequal distribution of care on gender equality and societies through the Global Alliance for Care. The Global Alliance for Care addresses inequalities in unpaid care work and strengthens the care economy, thereby contributing directly to the economic and social sphere of the nexus. Politically, members of the Global Alliance advance laws and reforms to promote access to rights, resources and representation of paid and unpaid care workers.

v. G7 members have been working to inspire DFIs/IFIs and the broader private sector to invest in the world's women through the 2X Challenge, 2X Collaborative and 2X Global, which mobilize investments to provide women across global markets with improved access to leadership opportunities, quality employment, finance, and products and services that enhance economic participation.

c. Combating sexual and gender-based violence

G7 members have been enhancing their support to prevent and respond to sexual and gender- based violence, online and offline, through various projects implemented by civil society and multilateral organizations, including UN Women, UNFPA, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and International Planned

Parenthood Federation (IPPF). G7 members have also used their collective voice to condemn gender-based violence and advocate for survivor-centered justice, accountability, and services. These efforts will be especially important and the G7 members should augment cooperation as the proliferation of artificial intelligence tools lead to an explosion of targeted online threats and harassment, including so-called deepfakes, against women and girls.

(2) Awareness raising and advocacy

G7 members have been promoting gender mainstreaming to achieve gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity, and to further facilitate women's access to leadership positions and decision-making process in the social, political, and economic spheres through awareness raising and advocacy, such as;

a. Advocate for protecting SRHR

G7 has been promoting access to comprehensive SRHR, including maternal and child health. As part of wider efforts to defend and promote SRHR in the face of rollbacks, G7 members will continue to advocate for the inclusion of the SRHR information and as part of the essential element of universal health coverage (UHC) at the primary health care level.

b. HeForShe campaign

HeForShe, initiated by UN Women, is an awareness raising campaign for increasing men's involvement and engagement in gender-related issues. HeForShe Champions from various sectors and countries -- including some of the G7 members -- have shared their tried and tested solutions for achieving parity at leadership, for ending gender-based violence and for many more of today's most critical equality issues.

c. World Assembly for Women (WAW!)

apan has been holding an international symposium on gender-related issues since 2014. In 2022, the participants discussed a wide range of issues such as the gender wage gap; women's participation in decision-making; women's health and dignity, including SRHR as well as bodily autonomy of women and girls; women and digital/STEM; women and environment/green society; WPS; and women and disaster risk reduction.

d. Generation Equality Forum (GEF)

The Generation Equality Forum convened by UN Women, co-hosted in 2021 by France and Mexico, launched a 5-year action journey to achieve irreversible progress towards gender

equality. It was founded on a series of concrete, ambitions and transformative actions, including $40 billion in financial commitments. It aims to ensure that the ambitions of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action on women's rights are implemented, and that the SDGs are achieved. The Forum launched a Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality and designed six Action Coalitions – multi-stakeholder partnerships that have identified the most critical actions required to achieve gender equality in areas ranging from gender-based violence and technology to economic and climate justice. The Forum also launched a Global Compact on Women, Peace, Security and Humanitarian action. G7 members have been involved in different action coalitions of the Forum and call on further action from UN Women and commitment makers to ensure the momentum of the GEF is sustained and its full objectives are achieved.

e. LGBTI Core Group in the United Nations forum

G7 members have been working as members of the United Nations LGBTI Core Group, an informal cross regional group of the United Nations Member States established in 2008 whose main activities are raising awareness about LGBTQIA+ issues, seeking common ground and engaging in a spirit of open, respectful and constructive dialogue and cooperation with UN Member States and other stakeholders outside the Core Group.

f. Accountability, monitoring and data

G7 members have been collaborating with the OECD, such as utilizing the OECD DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker for the implementation of the SDGs commitments on gender equality. In addition, in order to strengthen the accountability framework on measuring gender equality progress and mapping needs for action transparently on an annual basis, the G7 Gender Dashboard on Gender Gaps, prepared in cooperation with the OECD, was published in 2022 under the German Presidency, implementing G7 commitments of the Carbis Bay Communiqué under the UK Presidency in 2021. The G7 updates the Dashboard in 2023 under the Japanese Presidency and remains committed to promoting the collection of gender-disaggregated data. The G7 remains committed to monitoring G7 commitments to achieve gender equality as well as promoting and developing and accountability mechanisms, including the G7 Dashboard on Gender Gaps and the G7 report on the implementation of G7 gender equality commitments.

4. Gender Mainstreaming through all Ministerial Meetings

To date, 9 Ministerial Meetings of the G7 in 2023 discussed gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in all their diversity from various perspectives in their outcome documents as listed below, which further promoted gender mainstreaming and will form a basis for advancing the notion of the nexus.

(1) G7 Ministers' Meeting on Climate, Energy and Environment in Sapporo

A link to the Communique is; https://www.env.go.jp/content/000127828.pdf or https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2023/04/20230417004/20230417004-1.pdf

(2) G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Karuizawa, Nagano

A link to the Communique is; https://www.mofa.go.jp/files/100492731.pdf

(3) G7 Kurashiki Labour and Employment Ministers' Meeting in Okayama

A link to the Communique is; https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10501000/G7labour_en.pdf

(4) G7 Agriculture Ministers' Meeting in Miyazaki

A link to the Communique is; https://www.maff.go.jp/j/press/y_kokusai/kikou/attach/pdf/230423-1.pdf

(5) G7 Digital and Tech Ministers' Meeting in Takasaki, Gunma

A link to the Communique is;


(6) G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Niigata

A link to the Communique is;


(7) G7 Science and Technology Ministers' Meeting in Sendai

[Quote from the Communique]

We are committed to supporting the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, which has promoted our shared values on diversity and inclusion, to create a welcoming, environment for scientific and research activities free from stereotyping.

A link to the Communique is;


(8) G7 Education Ministers' Meeting in Toyama and Kanazawa

A link to the Declaration is; https://www.mext.go.jp/content/20230515-mxt_kouhou02-


(9) G7 Health Ministers' Meeting in Nagasaki

A link to the Communique is; https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10500000/001096403.pdf

(Note1) OECD 2023, "DAC Recommendation on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus" p.3

(Note2) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26

(Note3) UN Women, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2022, "Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals The Gender Snapshot 2022", p. 15