Saudi W20 to officially hand over presidency to Italy

The Saudi presidency of the Women 20 (W20) engagement group of the G20 will officially be for Italy for 2021.


The W20 brings together a transnational network of delegates representing nongovernmental women’s organizations; civil society, female entrepreneurs, businesses, and think tanks across G20 member states.


It works to ensure that gender considerations are mainstreamed into G20 discussions and translated into the annual G20 Leaders’ Declaration.

The W20 troika, which includes delegates from the previous Japanese presidency, Saudi Arabia, and the next host country Italy; along with other W20 members, will gather virtually on Saturday in order to mark the successful culmination of the Kingdom’s W20 presidency and officially transfer the leadership role to the Italians.


Participants will discuss the year’s accomplishments and ways to continue the momentum toward gender equality and women’s empowerment in 2021.


W20 chair, Dr. Thoraya Obaid, said: “Our work is far from done; and in the months and years ahead, we must keep women at the forefront of all decision-making. As a matter of fact, we look forward to working closely with the Italian delegation and are confident that they will continue to build on the W20 legacy.”

Next W20


Incoming W20 chair, Dr. Laura Linda Sabbadini, said: “I am proud to take on the role of chair of the W20 engagement group in 2021; and I am looking forward to working with the troika in order to continue the momentum set by previous presidencies, especially following the leadership of W20 Saudi Arabia 2020.


“Although the (coronavirus disease) COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted women, they have shown their strength; in many vital sectors.

“The W20 Italy will take on the challenge in order to ensure women are at the forefront of policies at global and national levels; and no woman is left behind,” she added.


Over the course of the W20 Saudi presidency, Al-Nahda Society; this year’s host organization, held also a series of national dialogues in Riyadh; Jeddah; and the Eastern Province that were structured; around the W20’s main focus areas, later transitioning to virtual meets due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.


As the W20 presidency transitions to Italy, the Kingdom’s representatives, including those from Al-Nahda Society, will also remain involved; through their participation as delegates of Saudi Arabia to the W20; and as part of the troika to continue their critical efforts in order to empower women socially and economically.

In 2022, when Indonesia hosts the G20, the troika will shift accordingly to include Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Indonesia.