Young Leaders Host Events Around the World to Mark One Year Out from WD2019
Events are Just the Beginning of a Global Mobilization Effort Leading Up to the Women Deliver 2019 Conference
Young people are powerful change makers who are driving progress in communities, countries, and the world. Our award-winning Young Leaders Program includes 700 youth advocates from 120 countries who work toward advancing the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women.
Earlier this month, Young Leaders in Kenya, Georgia, Uganda, Pakistan, and Nigeria came together to host events marking one year out from the Women Deliver 2019 Conference. From special performances, to intergenerational discussions, networking events, and flash mobs — the enthusiasm demonstrated by these young people embodies the spirit of WD2019! These events are just the beginning of a global mobilization effort leading up to the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, which will involve preconference events and courses, satellite sessions, and a virtual conference — expected to reach 100,000 people, on top of the 6,000 who will be present in Vancouver. Take a look at the highlights from these events!
Using Art and Performance to Discuss Gender Equality in Kenya
Maureen Oduor planned “Ignite WD2019 Youth Extravaganza,” a theater performance event in Siaya, Kenya, where youth presenters used song, dance, and drama to talk about education, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
A packed audience of students, educators, and gender equality advocates gathered at Sigomere Secondary School in Siaya County. Maureen — who has attended every single Women Deliver Conference and was a member of the first class of Young Leaders — kicked off the event with a speech about the power of youth-led advocacy and the conversations she hopes to continue at WD2019. Performers then used song, dance, and storytelling to highlight ongoing barriers to gender equality in Kenya.
Highlighting the Power of Female Entrepreneurs in Georgia
Gvantsa Khizanishvili organized a panel to highlight the achievements of female entrepreneurs in Georgia and drive conversations on women’s economic empowerment. The event was held in Tbilisi, Georgia’s financial capital.
The meeting began with a few words from Gvantsa, followed by remarks from speakers from the region — including Natalia Jaliashvili, the Head of the Human Rights Secretariat with the Government of Georgia, and Erika Kvapilova, UN Women’s Country Representative in Georgia. To cap the discussion, five female entrepreneurs and business owners discussed challenges they faced in their respective fields and proposed solutions for driving change.
Sparking Conversations About Gender Equality through Dance in Uganda
Nargis Shirazi organized a flash mob at the biggest shopping center in Kampala, Uganda, to mark the one year out milestone to WD2019 and spark conversations on barriers to gender equality. She partnered with Public Health Ambassadors Uganda, a youth-led initiative that has previously orchestrated flash mobs across Uganda to drive timely health communications campaigns.
The 20-minute flash mob featured salsa, hip hop, and breakdancing performances. Following the program, Nargis and her team spoke with the crowd about gender equality issues in Uganda, while distributing informational pamphlets about WD2019 and Women Deliver’s broader advocacy. Observers stuck around to chat, learn, and participate in video interviews on what gender equality meant to them — and the solutions they’d like to see to achieve a more gender-equal world.
Breaking Down Gender Stereotypes with Inter-generational Dialogue in Nigeria
Tunde Ajidagba hosted a panel event in Lagos where young people, policymakers, and advocates discussed how to break down gender stereotypes. The event sought to identify and address pervasive inequalities that have stalled progress for girls and women.
Attendees participated in three intergenerational panels — the first on female entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, the second on women’s political participation and decision-making, and a third on putting a gender lens on universal health coverage. Tunde engaged a range of notable advocates and decision-makers at his event, including Dr. Joe-Odumakin, President of Women Arise for Change Initiative; Oluwaseun Ayodeji, Executive Director of Stand to End Rape Initiative, and other Young Leaders in Nigeria.
Assessing Barriers to Gender Equality with a Multi-Sector Approach in Pakistan
Muhammad Shahzad Khanorganized a panel discussion and networking event for women leaders to discuss the gender equality in Pakistan. The event was held in Lahore and brought together 50 women leaders — including political leaders, elected officials, entrepreneurs, and human rights advocates to highlight their contributions to advancing gender equality.
A notable moment from the event was when audience members shared personal stories about encountering barriers to their health, rights, and wellbeing. At the end of the meeting, the advocates concluded that joint advocacy on increasing women’s political participation was crucial to progress. They vowed to work together to enhance female representation in Pakistan’s upcoming general elections.
The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will be the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. We know that young people are essential to driving these conversations. Therefore, one in five participants at Women Deliver conferences are under the age of 30. Learn more about WD2019 here.