Today, one-year-out from the next Women Deliver Conference (WD2023), taking place in Kigali, Rwanda from 17-20 July 2023, Women Deliver and partners came together virtually to unveil the official theme of WD2023: Spaces, Solidarity, and Solutions. The event also marked the launch of the Conference’s registration platform, as well as scholarship and concurrent session applications, and celebrated WD2023’s new Regional Convening Partners, Conference sponsors, and Conference funders.
As one of the largest multi-sectoral convenings to advance gender equality, convening 6,000 advocates onsite, and over 200,000 advocates online from diverse fields, the Women Deliver 2023 Conference has been co-created by grassroots advocates, youth, civil society, governments, multilateral organizations, and the private sector, including from and representing communities facing systemic discrimination around the world.
With sexual and reproductive health and rights at its core, WD2023 will center intersectional feminist principles, to address compounding issues impacting girls and women — from climate change, to gender-based violence, to unpaid care work — and collectively identify and action evidence-based solutions.
“We have deliberately chosen this theme with action in mind,” said Maliha Khan, Women Deliver President and CEO. “Spaces, because it’s only when we create inclusive spaces that we can get to the heart of our challenges; Solidarity, because it’s only when we work together and take collective action that we can create the Solutions needed to advance gender equality and improve the wellbeing of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities.”
“WD2023’s theme is focused on shaping the inclusive and co-created spaces that the world so desperately needs to advance sustainable solutions on gender equality. Today, we are delighted to open the registration for the next Women Deliver Conference, taking place in Africa for the first time. We hope that advocates from all corners of the world will join us. It is only in partnership — and as a result of the contributions of many — that gender equality will be realized.” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Women Deliver Board Chair.
As part of the One-Year-Out Event, Women Deliver outlined WD2023’s objectives, which include catalyzing collective action to advance gender equality, holding leaders accountable, empowering the feminist movement, reframing who leads, as well as creating an accessible and inclusive space for everyone.
Event attendees heard from over 20 members of Women Deliver’s global advocacy community, including the Government of Rwanda, the WD2023 Advisory Group, the Women Deliver Board and staff, and diverse gender equality advocates from around the world, all of whom are working together closely and in partnership to co-create WD2023 and the Global Dialogue, which will take place in the six-months leading up to the Conference. The Global Dialogue will act as a global mobilization platform and space for Regional Convening Partners to amplify work being done on the ground to advance gender equality, as well as to network, share new evidence, knowledge, and content, and attend events or watch recordings.
Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Minister Jeannette Bayisenge, who is also Chair of the WD2023 Host Country Committee, shared updates from last month’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), in which Women Deliver participated in panels and discussions alongside the Government of Rwanda and discussed the government’s policy priorities for WD2023.
The event included remarks by the WD2023 Advisory Group; Lopa Banerjee, Executive Coordinator, Generation Equality and Director, Civil Society Division, UN Women; Arya Manandhar, Women Deliver Young Leader, Class of 2020; Isabella Mwangi, Project Officer, Center for Rights Education and Awareness (CREAW), Convener of Deliver for Good Kenya; as well as Renee Olende, Director, Strategic Advocacy and Communications, Co-Impact.
A key priority for Women Deliver and partners is to ensure that WD2023 is symbiotic and beneficial to other key policy windows that advance gender equality. One such policy window is the Generation Equality Forum (GEF). To this end, the Conference will hold space for dialogue on accountability and progress on collective GEF commitments, with an emphasis on the role that civil society and youth play in advancing gender equality.
At the event, Women Deliver recognized new Regional Convening Partners:
- Asia: Chaired by Sivananthi Thanenthiran, Executive Director for The Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW);
- Middle East and North Africa: Chaired by Lina Abirafeh, Advisor, Arab Institute for Women.
New WD2023 sponsors and funders were also announced, including Jhpiego, The American Heart Association, and The Hunger Project. WD2023 currently counts 32 sponsors and funders, including FP2030 and EMD Serono Inc., which were represented at the event by Dr. Samukeliso Dube, Executive Director, and Jasmine Greenamyer, Vice President of Global Strategic Partnerships, respectively.
The event was moderated by Femi Oke and joined by two prominent artists from East Africa; Femi One, Kenyan hip-hop artist and Mani Martin, Rwandan singer, songwriter, actor, recording and performing artist. Tulika Srivastava, Vice Board Chair, Women Deliver, closed the event by welcoming everyone to register to take part in the world’s largest convening on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women to-date.