The 4th Women Deliver Conference took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, from May 16th to19th, 2016. The world’s largest international conference on girls and women’s health, rights and well-being, this year was attended by over 5,500 young people, world leaders, researchers, advocates and policymakers from 169 countries.Two members of the WINGS’ team, Youth Coordinator Ana Lucía Gonzalez and Communications Coordinator Anna Zatonow, had the opportunity to participate in the conference thanks to a scholarship and an invitation from Women Deliver to present WINGS’ documentary, Blessed Fruit of the Womb, which was selected to be screened at the Art and Cinema Corner of the conference. We’re excited to be sharing our experiences with you!
When the World Invests in Girls and Women, Everybody Wins!
The main focus of this year’s conference was making the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) work for girls and women. This broad focus meant the plenaries and activities during the 4 days of the conference revolved around a variety of issues, including expanding women’s life choices through access to family planning, successfully engaging youth, the importance of gathering and collecting data on women and girls, involving men, tackling new challenges (like the Zika virus) and moving from commitment to action for girls and women.
The conference opened with a call to put girls and women at the forefront of development.
“We all share a common conviction – that girls and women are the key to building healthy, prosperous and sustainable societies and communities,” Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark said at the opening ceremony. “And the evidence is sound – when we invest in girls and women, society as a whole benefits.”
On the 2nd day of the conference Melinda Gates stressed the importance of collecting data on the contribution women and girls make to society and the barriers they face in fulfilling their potential.
On behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates announced committing $80mill to help plug the gaps in data on women and girls that is needed to meet the UN target of achieving gender equality by 2030.
Later in the afternoon we introduced and screened our documentary to the audience of the Arts and Cinema Corner. We were thrilled to be part of this exciting project and to be able to share WINGS’ story at this historic conference.
The conference offered more than 200 sessions and special events to choose from and with the huge number of inspiring speakers from all over the world, it was at times a challenge to plan our schedules! We had a chance to listen to Tawakkol Karman, Muhammad Yunus, Kate Gilmore, Babatunde Osotimehin, Toyin Saraki, Margaret Chan, to name just a few speakers we were impressed by. Singer and activist Annie Lennox called for men’s involvement in the fight for women’s equality and actress Jessica Biel stressed the importance of removing the stigma around sex and sexuality.
For videos, virtual conferences and inspiring quotes from Women Deliver 2016, go to WD Live.
Ana Lucía participates as a Youth Scholar
From 5,000 applicants, our Youth Coordinator Ana Lucía was one of the 700 young people selected for a scholarship from Women Deliver to attend the event. Ana Lucía was incredibly excited to have an opportunity to meet and work with young people from around the world, share experiences and learn from each other. Click on the image below to watch a short video interview with Ana Lucía:
The time to act is NOW.
Women Deliver provided a vital platform for sharing and exchanging ideas, methodologies and solutions. Now is the time to keep the momentum going and put the interrelated challenges faced daily by women and girls at the center of our work. We look forward to developing new ideas and partnerships and implementing what we learned and experienced during the conference in our own programs.
While there is still a long road ahead to implementing the SDGs so they matter most for girls and women, we are excited to translate commitments made at Women Deliver into action!
“I’m so happy! Participating in the conference was a wonderful opportunity to learn from people from many different countries who face the same problems that we face in Guatemala. I can’t wait to use what learned in my work with youth, so that they have more opportunities to make the right choices for their futures.” – Ana Lucía