Women Deliver 2013
On May 28 – 30, thousands of leaders and advocates from 160 countries are gathering in Kuala Lumpur for Women Deliver 2013, one of the decades’ largest and most influential conferences on girls’ and women’s health and rights. Follow the conversation via the Women Deliver 2013 webcast, featuring talks by some of the world’s leading voices on girls’ and women’s issues, including Melinda Gates, Graça Machel, Cecile Richards, Tewodros Melesse, and three UN agency heads, among many others. Over the course of the conference, sessions will address progress and ongoing challenges in maternal health, family planning, equality, education, and violence against women, with an overarching focus on why investments in girls and women must remain a global priority in the lead-up to the 2015 Millennium Development Goal deadline and beyond.
The main themes discussed during the Conference panels will be as follows:
1. Investing in Women’s Reproductive Health Equals Investing in Economic and Social Progress for Everyone
Achieving gender equality requires addressing the reproductive health needs of women. However, despite improvements in gender equality in other domains, too little progress has been achieved on this critical front. The lack of investment in reproductive health is a missed opportunity for development. This panel will review the economic benefits of investing in reproductive health, including improved labour productivity, reduced out-of-pocket expenditures, enhanced the human capital of future generations, and increased economic growth. Investing in reproductive health is smart economics for policy makers in developing countries, but obstacles still exist. We will explore proven and promising policy levers to accelerate progress.
2. Investing in Girls
It is universally recognised that girls’ access to education is key to their future contributions to society and their own sense of fulfillment. Enabling girls to participate fully in all aspects of family, political and community life is critical to gender equality. The panel will explore continuing barriers and challenges to ensuring that every girl has access to an education and the experiences and rights that will enable her to flourish.
3. Women’s Health
The reproductive health paradigm established at Cairo called for a holistic women-centred approach to achieve comprehensive reproductive health care. Over the past years, we have come to understand that broader issues of women’s health also need to be seen as part of that comprehensive approach. The dramatic increase in non-communicable diseases from cancers to diabetes affects reproductive health. Women’s mental health, infertility and sexuality are all still neglected. The disproportionate number of women in poverty is a further health challenge. A life cycle approach to women’s health is sorely needed. This panel will explore those challenges, and ways in which women’s health needs can better be meet.
4. Women Lead - Opportunities and Challenges
There is no doubt that substantial progress has been made in women’s leadership, not just in traditional areas such as health and education but as leaders in finance, government and communications, and as cultural icons. Younger women can rise to leadership sooner. Yet, even the world’s most powerful women speak of challenges and of being ignored. This will be a lively and intimate look at how women leaders see their own leadership. It will also explore the latest in leadership theories, with the panelists’ perceptions of what makes for great leaders in the 21st Century.
5. Global Progress on Family Planning—Putting Women at the Heart of the Global Health Agenda
Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) participate in an exciting plenary session focused on Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). The global community came together at the London Summit on Family Planning and delivered bold commitments to help girls and women in developing countries access lifesaving contraceptives. Learn how advocates and government officials are working together and making progress to advance FP2020.
6. Developing Countries’ Strategies Towards Reaching the FP2020 Goals
Increasingly, developing countries understand the importance of meeting the need women and couples have for contraception. A panel of government leaders will provide an in-depth look at the progress made and challenges remaining as they move to realize their strong commitments to family planning.
7. Ending Violence Against Women
Worldwide attention has been focused on the increasingly virulent attacks on women. In Pakistan, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban. Her crime: advocating for girls education. In India, a young medical student was raped and murdered by a gang of five assailants. Every 20 minutes, a woman in India is raped. Since the 1990s, successive waves of murders of young women have left hundreds of women dead. In South Africa, a woman is killed by an intimate partner every eight minutes. Women Deliver is dedicated to ending violence against women. This panel will discuss what is happening, why, and what can be done to end it. The panel includes leaders in the efforts to end violence from India, Afghanistan, and the United States. Bachi Karkaria, columnist from The Times of India and passionate advocate for Indian women will make the opening presentation.
8. Contraception Contextualized: Advocating for the Core Values of the Post–2015 Agenda
The renewed effort to ensure that 120 million women and couples have access to the contraception they want by 2020 has reinvigorated the sexual and reproductive health and rights community. Now, we need to inspire the larger community focused on the post 2015 agenda to join with us as we need to join with them. The effort to make contraception available is not a stand-alone agenda. It’s part of our commitment to reduce poverty, enhance human rights, feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty and share the wealth we have with those who need it. Doing this requires innovative ways of thinking and acting. Hear how social innovators, powerful advocates and provocative thinkers get the messages out and change people’s minds.
9. The Development Agenda Through a Woman’s Lens
We are moving toward the adoption of new goals for development, framed under the theme of a sustainable world. Yet, the goals established in various UN documents such as the ICPD Program of Action, The Beijing Platform of Action and the MDGs – especially those related to reproductive health–are far from achieved; In some cases they are still controversial and inadequate for the challenges of the future. How can the new development goals adequately address women’s rights and needs? This panel will provide some answers.
10. How to Think About Population, Sustainability and Women’s Rights
From the first conference on population and development in Bucharest in 1974, the question of whether population growth contributes to poverty and environmental degradation has been contested. The development of a woman-centred human rights approach to population at the Cairo conference was lauded by some as a paradigm shift and by others as diminishing the financial commitment to reproductive health. The increasing interest in reducing the negative effects of climate change has opened the debate once again. This panel will discuss that debate and what it means for women.
11. The Development Agenda Through a Young Person’s Lens
The World We Want is not just a slogan—it represents the vision each of us has for the kind of future we need. For no group is it more real than those under the age of 30 who will live out the lives today’s leaders initiate in the post-2015 agenda. On this panel, young leaders will share their vision for the world they want.
12. Creating a Just and Sustainable World: A Call to Action
As the conference comes to a close, the key question of equality for women and girls will be highlighted. In a just and sustainable world, girls will be as valued as boys and women’s intelligence, skills, compassion, will be as honoured as that of men. This panel will examine the barriers to equality but also point the way to achieving a just and sustainable world.
The live webcast and archived video of concluded sessions will be available on Women Deliver’s Livestream page.