Power, Progress, Change

Women Deliver 2019 Conference

The world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women in the 21st century.

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference took place 3 to 6 June, 2019, in Vancouver, Canada, under the theme “Power. Progress. Change.” it is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. Its advocacy drives investment – political and financial – in the lives of girls and women worldwide. The Women Deliver 2019 Conference is considered the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.

From keynotes to social enterprise pitches, workshops to film festivals, there was countless opportunities to engage, gather inspiration, and build a more gender equal world. More than 6,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists flocked to Vancouver from around the world with the drive to accelerate progress for girls and women everywhere.

The conference presented new knowledge, promote world-class solutions, and engage a broad spectrum of voices. It focused on several issues from health, nutrition, education, economic and political empowerment to human rights, good governance, and girls’ and women’s agency and equality as: Communities in Action to End Violence Against All Women and Girls, Mental Health: Break the Stigma, Putting the Power in Women's Hands: Paving the Path to Self-Managed Abortion for Greater Access and Choice, The Future of Medicine: Empowering Women Physician Leaders, The Future of Work in the 21st Century, Creating a Gender Equal World: The Transformative Power of Women’s Rights to Land, Court of Sex: Breaking Taboos around Sexual and Reproductive Health, Power of We: Women & Environment among others.

Women Deliver stages attracted the greatest minds, strongest activists, and most progressive leaders from across the globe. Some of the speakers were:

  • The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer
  • Helle Thorning Schmidt, Former Prime Minister of Denmark and CEO, Save the Children
  • The Honorable Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia; Inaugural Chair, Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College, London; and Chair, Global Partnership for Education
  • The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Government of Canada
  • Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization

 “With a fierce focus on solutions, world-class speakers, influencers from all sectors and change-makers from across the globe, the Women Deliver 2019 Conference will be an incredible platform to hone in on the state of the world for girls and women and map what needs to be done to power change and progress,” said Katja Iversen, President/CEO of Women Deliver.

The five first events were organized by Women Deliver Young Leaders included:

  • Georgia: A one-day event to highlight the achievements of female entrepreneurs in Georgia and drive conversations on women’s economic empowerment, organized by Gvantsa Khizanishvili.
  • Kenya: “Ignite WD2019 Youth Extravaganza,” a one day theater performance event where youth presenters used song, dance, and drama to talk about education, gender based violence, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, hosted by Maureen Oduor.
  • Nigeria: A panel event where young people, policymakers, and advocates discussed how to break down gender stereotypes and empower girls and women across the country, organized by Emman Babatunde Ajidagba.
  • Pakistan: A panel discussion and networking event for women leaders from diverse sectors and ages to discuss the state of gender equality in Pakistan, put together by Muhammad Shahzad Khan.
  • Uganda: A flashmob performance at Kampala’s biggest shopping center to mark the one year out milestone to WD2019 and spark conversations on barriers to gender equality in Uganda, orchestrated by Nargis Shirazi.

“Young people around the world are leading the way on gender equality. Women Deliver is not only a vehicle to celebrate their accomplishments – but to provide them with the tools they need to maximize their community impact,” said Women Deliver Young Leader Maureen Oduor, an internationally recognized Kenyan advocate working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescent girls and women.

Women Deliver put a special emphasis on working with young people, and the conference was no exception. Twenty percent of conference attendees were under the age of 30, young people hosted their own pre-conference, and youth will be well-represented on the main stage.

“Young people are not only leaders of tomorrow, they are leading today. Their choices, needs, and opportunities to influence will define the world. That’s why is so important for us to listen, learn, and engage them in the conference development,” said Katja Iversen.

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference came at a time when #MeToo and its global equivalents have pushed gender issues to the forefront, and when support for gender equality and women’s health and rights is more critical than ever. By converging change-makers from across the globe to discuss power – with a focus on the solutions we need – the conference can serve as a catalyst to spark action and change.

This year’s conference in Vancouver, Canada was the fifth Women Deliver Conference, held previously in Copenhagen (2016), Kuala Lumpur (2013), Washington, DC (2010), and London (2007).

For more information on the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, please visit https://wd2019.org/