World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking at the Women20 Summit in Berlin, Merkel urged governments and international institutions to contribute to the fund.
“We are discussing with the World Bank these days how to improve conditions for women to access financial resources. And we also want to integrate this with political processes within the G20,” Merkel told the summit.
The gathering brought together female leaders from the world’s 20 largest economies, also known as the G20 countries.
Among the attendees were International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to the U.S. president.
Merkel said governments have to do more to economically empower women with measures such as microcredits.
She stressed that such measures are needed in both developing and industrialized nations.
Lagarde cautiously welcomed the idea of creating a fund for supporting women.
“The announcement of this setting up of the women entrepreneurs fund is fantastic. But I think it doesn’t go without [new] policies,” she said.
Trump, a fashion entrepreneur and former model who was recently appointed advisor to her father, warned of a growing digital gender divide.
"When you look across the globe, you see that 1.7 billion women don’t have access to a smartphone,” she said.
“That is a deterrent to them fully participating in the economy of the present, as well as the economy of the future,” she added.
Delegates of the Women20 Summit are set to conclude a final declaration on Wednesday, including various proposals to promote women's economic participation in the G20 member states.
These proposals will be discussed at a summit of G20 heads of states and governments in July hosted by Merkel in the northern German city of Hamburg.