By Peace Hillary | Family Mag | 24 June 2022
WD2023 will be one of the largest multi-sectoral convenings to advance gender equality to date.
WD2023 will focus intersectional feminist principles, addressing compounding issues affecting girls and women from climate change to gender-based violence to unpaid care work and collectively identifying and acting on evidence-based solutions.
During the Press Conference of Women Deliver alongside the CHOGM2022, the development was announced on June 20 by the Women Deliver delegation to announce the one-year countdown to the next Women Deliver Conference (WD2023), which will take place from July 17-20, next year.
Rwanda’s strong and demonstrable commitment to gender equality, girls’ and women’s health and rights, according to officials, makes it an especially appropriate choice for WD2023.
Women Deliver’s outgoing CEO and incoming Board Member, Kathleen Sherwin, noted that, “WD2023 will enhance the collective power of diverse gender equality advocates around the world, including by championing the leadership of grassroots advocates, connecting advocates with decision-makers, and sharing key advocacy strategies. We are thrilled to be coming together with the Government of Rwanda and Rwandan gender equality advocates during CWF 2022 to continue laying the groundwork to advance gender equality and improve the well being of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities, in the lead up to WD2023 and beyond.”
“The goals of this year’s Commonwealth Women’s Forum perfectly align with the objectives of WD2023. Proposed solutions from the Forum will inform Commonwealth leaders’ discussions and policies on ending gender inequality, and will help Rwanda and the world catalyze progress on the objectives of WD2023; including advancing collective progress on gender equality, and holding leaders accountable,” said Maliha Khan, President and CEO of Women Deliver.
During this conference alongside with CHOGM2022/Commonwealth Women’s Forum, the Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF), Minister Jeanette Bayisenge stated that Rwanda has made significant progress in gender equality over the last 28 years, noting that while there is still a long way to go, a lot has been done to close the gender gap.
Bayisenge also stated that Women Deliver is a platform that will bring together people from all over the world to discuss the challenges that women continue to face and to devise tangible solutions for a more inclusive and equal global community.
In terms of expected outcomes, the Minister of MIGEPROF stated that Rwanda will benefit from knowledge sharing as well as the development of additional collaboration to promote gender equality, among other things.
Furthermore, Bayisenge revealed that Rwanda, through MIGEPROF, has been designated as the co-chair of the conference host committee.
Rwanda will be the first African country to host the Women Deliver conference.
Women Deliver’s agenda includes Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
Women Deliver’s outgoing CEO and incoming Board Member, Kathleen Sherwin, stated in an exclusive interview with Family Magazine that Women Deliver focuses on various aspects of Gender Equality and Women Rights.
“When it comes to women’s rights, there are a few things we must do. As a result, the first section focuses on the healthcare sector. As a result, one of the challenges following COVID19 is that women now make up 70% of the health workforce. Despite this, they lacked the necessary resources, were ill-equipped, and poorly prepared. They were also not seated at the executive table. Only 25% of healthcare industry decision-makers are women.” Sherwin brings up
She continues by stating that the availability of universal health care for everyone is a crucial component of the second step, which is the implementation of universal health care.
“It is present in Rwanda, but not for everyone. The third option is SRHR. Since women must have full access to family planning services, sexual and reproductive health and rights ensures that this does not happen everywhere in the world. particularly after a pandemic. Many women and young people did not have access to a clinic during the pandemic, nor did they have access to comprehensive sexuality education or SRHR products. Thus, you observed a rise in the number of unintended pregnancies and maternal deaths. Therefore, it’s crucial that we pay attention to that as well.” Says Sherwin
Safe abortion faces some challenges
Kathleen Sherwin confirms that laws and policies are in place, but access to safe abortion remains a challenge.
“One of the challenges is that many countries have full SRHR in the books but do not actually implement it. That is extremely important. The first is that it must be absolutely certain that funding for health centres is required. So governments must step in and provide funding for health clinics, midwives, community leaders, and doctors, among other things.”
She continues to state that WD2023 will strengthen the global collective power of diverse gender equality advocates by championing grassroots advocacy leadership, connecting advocates with decision-makers, and sharing key advocacy strategies.
The Conference’s theme, registration, scholarships and concurrent applications will open on 19 July, 2022 during a virtual launch event being organised by Women Deliver.