Women Deliver 2016: Putting Girls & Women at Forefront of Development

HRH Crown Princess Mary and Prime Minister of Denmark HE Lars Løkke Rasmussen Urge Action at Largest Gathering of Girls’ and Women’s Advocates in a Decade.

Copenhagen, Denmark: On May 16, 2016, heads of state and global leaders joined more than 5,000 advocates, experts and young people from 168 countries for the fourth Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. It will be the largest gathering on the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women in over a decade.

“We all share a common conviction – that girls and women are the key to building healthy, prosperous and sustainable societies and communities,” said Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Patron of the Women Deliver 2016 Conference, at the opening ceremony.  “And the evidence is sound – when we invest in girls and women, society as a whole benefits.”

Over the span of the conference, more than 200 sessions and side events will focus on solutions and how investments in health, rights, gender equality, education and economic empowerment have broad benefits across the development spectrum. The Women Deliver 2016 Conference is the first major gathering of girls’ and women’s health and rights advocates since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals last year, bringing together leaders from UN agencies, civil society, the private sector, academia and more.

“This week, more than 5,500 world influencers from more than 165 countries are gathered here in Copenhagen to make change [and] ensure that the world delivers for women and for girls,” said His Excellency Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, at the opening ceremony. “That is a joint responsibility. The fight for equal gender opportunities is not just a women’s fight [or] a fight for women. It is a fight for all of us – women and men. It is a fight for a better and more prosperous world.”

To accelerate progress for girls and women, Women Deliver launched a new advocacy platform during the Conference’s opening session that promotes 12 critical investments in girls and women: Deliver for Good. This new platform brings together diverse organizations to show how a simple focus on investments in girls and women can be transformative for global development.

“The Deliver for Good campaign will drive action toward what we know is true: investing in girls and women unlocks untapped potential, and creates a ripple effect that benefits families, communities and entire nations,” said Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver. “It’s 2016: now is the time to turn the conversation from ‘if and why’ to ‘how and now.’”

The campaign highlights evidence showing that when leaders make political, financial and programmatic investments in the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women, there are big returns for countries striving to build more equitable, healthy, peaceful and productive societies.

“The evidence is clear. Girls and women have less access to resources and opportunities and are subjected to exploitation, violence and abuse. And because these global challenges are complex, demanding and interwoven – the solutions have to be connected as well,” said Manisha Bharti, Chief Strategy Officer of FHI 360. “We are proud to support Women Deliver’s new Deliver for Good campaign, and to contribute to the body of evidence of what works and what doesn’t. It’s time we meaningfully engage girls and women as equal partners at all levels and stages of development to help ensure they have the decision-making power necessary to shape their societies and their own lives.”

Over the next three days, attendees will discuss the latest trends, innovations and research to drive solutions for girls and women around the world. Each day of the conference will focus on ways to accelerate progress including:

Tuesday, 17 May

A Girls’ and Women’s Lens on the SDGs: Heads of UN agencies and ministers of health, gender and education from around the world will discuss the important links between girls and women and the new global development agenda.

How Are We Doing? Data Collection, Evaluation and Best Practices: Directors of implementing agencies and NGOs will discuss the need for good data – from information to evaluation – and share success stories from the field.

Learning & Working Across Generations: A lively, no-holds-barred discussion about the challenges and opportunities, the ups and downs of working across generations.

 Wednesday, 18 May

Investing in Girls and Women: Everybody Wins: Investments in women have major pay-offs. This panel will present examples of notable successes as well outline what is needed to make progress.

Making the SDGs Work for Girls and Women: Regional Perspectives: This session will present regional views on SDGs, as well as specific regional challenges and solutions, from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Powerful Women: This session focuses on powerful women in different areas of work and their personal and professional challenges – what would make them feel their power was well used? Do they think of themselves as powerful? Do they think they use and see power differently than men?

 Thursday, 19 May

Look to the Future, Part 1: Transformation, Innovation and Partnership: This plenary will focus on the need to change as the world changes and present innovative strategies for social transformation through communications, as well as government, private and NGO partnerships.

Look to the Future, Part 2: The State of Philanthropy: This session will feature an in-depth discussion about the role philanthropy can play in ensuring that resources are available to implement the SDGs in ways that benefit girls and women.

Men with Power: Delivering for Girls and Women: On this panel, men who have committed themselves to women’s empowerment, health and wellbeing will discuss how they see men’s role in driving progress for women.

Be the Change You Want to See: Global leaders and celebrities advocates have been invited to speak on what they commit to change and how they model that change in their own lives.


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