Delivering for Girls and Women: Lifetime Achievement Award for Jill Sheffield
The applause would not end, voices cracked, and there was more than one tear in sight as thousands of people at the Women Deliver 2016 Conference closing rose to their feet to pay tribute and say farewell to the founder of Women Deliver, Jill Sheffield.
“Each and every one of us are here because we are committed to delivering for girls and women. Nobody has lived that more than Jill Sheffield. Jill, you are a truly remarkable woman. On behalf of the thousands of people around the world who have been touched by your commitment, drive, and work to improve the future of girls and women everywhere, I would like to present you with this lifetime achievement award,” said Katja Iversen, who is now taking on the role as President/CEO of Women Deliver.
Iversen reminded the audience of Sheffield’s huge achievement over the last five decades, not least in the area of maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights.
“You've moved governments, mountains, and millions – people and dollars. We can look back, we can look forward, but everywhere we look we will see the change you've helped institute. You are not only a tireless advocate, a teacher, and a true visionary. You are a rock star, an inspiration, a legend – a wonderful woman and a friend. I am honored to have worked side-by-side with you and learned from you,” continued Iversen.
After receiving the Delivering for Girls and Women Lifetime Achievement Award, Sheffield, who was notably moved, offered a heartfelt thanks to everybody at the conference and beyond.
“We have spent the last 30 years proving the many ways women deliver. We’ve nudged, we’ve persuaded, we’ve pushed, we’ve cajoled, and sometimes we’ve almost coerced policy makers in the right direction,” said Sheffield. “The world is changing. And that is fantastic. We’ve see a lot of progress.”
“There is a new generation in this hall that has engaged in this movement,” she continued. “It is energized, committed, and ready – and that is good, because the work is not done yet. So thank you to all for what you have done, but thank you even more for what you are going to do.”
And then, one final standing ovation.