By Edwin Musoni | The New Times | 21 July 2023
The Women Deliver Conference wrapped up on July 20 leaving behind a trail of hope and inspiration in the pursuit of gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls worldwide.
The conference which attracted over 6,300 participants including over 100 journalists and content creators, 600 scholars, and 87 sponsors representing 170 countries, became a platform for concrete commitments to empower women and drive progress.
The five-day conference saw passionate discussions on supporting women and girls with funding and resources to challenge harmful norms and advocate for institutional and legislative reforms.
At the closing press briefing, the President and CEO of Women Deliver, Maliha Khan, highlighted the need for securing bodily autonomy and sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls.
Key outcomes and commitments
- Campaign to close the gender nutrition gap: Over 40 organisations launched a campaign to address nutrition inequalities affecting women and girls globally. The Action Agenda co-created with governments outlines transformative actions to improve their nutrition and well-being.
- Kigali Call to Action: United for Women and Girls’ Bodily Autonomy: UNFPA announced this initiative to accelerate investments and actions, placing women-led organisations and the feminist movement at its core. The call aims to achieve bodily autonomy, reproductive rights, and gender equality by 2030.
- RESPECT Women website launch: WHO, UN Women, UNFPA, and UNDP came together to launch the RESPECT Women online platform, aiming to combat violence against women and girls effectively. The platform seeks to drive tangible actions and invest in evidence-based resources for violence prevention and response while promoting gender equality.
- Women Deliver Emerging Leaders Programme: To empower young advocates, Women Deliver launched this programme, channelling trust-based funding to youth. It seeks to provide knowledge, resources, and leadership opportunities to further gender equality and sexual health advocacy goals.
- New funding facility with Open Society Foundations: To counter the anti-rights movement and address neglected sexual health and reproductive areas, a strategic partnership was forged with Open Society Foundations. The focus is on strengthening feminist movements and empowering communities at all levels to uphold fundamental freedoms for women.
However, Khan stressed that despite the progress made, there is still a lot of work ahead to address existing barriers and enable women and girls to fulfil their potential. The conference aimed to strengthen solidarity and unity for ongoing efforts towards a brighter, equal future.