G(irls)20 summit to tout women`s importance to economy

Women will discuss the UN`s Millennium Development Goals that impact girls and women.

Ottawa: Days before G20 leaders meet in June, women from the world`s 20 leading economies are to hold their own "G(irls)20 summit" to highlight women`s contributions to global economic prosperity.

From June 15 to 18, the women will discuss the United Nation`s Millennium Development Goals that impact girls and women, notably eradicating poverty and hunger, and improving maternal health, organisers announced on Thursday.

Delegates are to debate education, contraception and the role of women in a modern society. They will also be encouraged to propose ways to bolster women`s economic participation.

The summit was inspired in part by a suggestion by Lawrence Summers, former World Bank chief economist and current economic advisor to US President Barack Obama, that a woman invests 80 percent of every dollar earned in her family and community, compared to 30 percent by men.

"There are 3.3 billion girls and women in this world," commented Belinda Stronach, whose foundation is spearheading the talks.

"The potential for each to contribute to their communities and their countries, and indeed our planet, is great," said the former Canadian MP and heir to the Magna auto parts fortune.