The Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, kicked off today with more than 8,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists gathered in Vancouver, and more than 100,000 participating in a global dialogue around the world through satellite events and WDLive, the virtual conference. 1,400 youth delegates from 139 countries are expected to attend the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, where every plenary program and most concurrents feature a young person.
The conference will focus on power, and how it can drive – or hinder – progress and change; and how societies must redefine the concept of ‘power’ and use it as a force for good.
The conference will examine power operating at three levels:
While the Women Deliver 2019 Conference and global dialogue will place a special emphasis on power, the conference will offer solutions to fill the gap on a vast array of issues crucial to gender equality: economic empowerment, women and the environment, nutrition, education, political participation, preventing gender-based violence, health, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, human rights, and much more.
“The Women Deliver 2019 Conference is much more than a conference, it is one important step on the march towards gender equality,” said Katja Iversen, Women Deliver President/CEO at the opening press conference. “We all have power to contribute to a more gender equal world. If we use our individual and collective power – boldly, smartly and collaboratively — progress will follow.”
“The Women Deliver conference will be a truly historic week. I look forward to joining many grassroots leaders and advocates who have dedicated their lives to defending and advancing women’s rights,” said the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. “We know we can’t take our foot off the pedal, not even for a moment. I’ll be at the conference to show Canada’s leadership on gender equality isn’t going anywhere, and that we’re not just speaking up, but stepping up too.”
“This conference is also a chance to mobilize against those who reinforce patriarchal power structures, reject multilateralism and push-back against gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “It’s a place where advocates from all sectors of society can unite to push back against the push-back.”
“As a young woman, advocate and Women Deliver Young Leader, I’m proud to take part in the opening plenary session to help bring visibility to youth-led advocacy and solutions for gender equality from around the world. As an 18-year old Zambian I represent not only the future but the present of youth leadership. Young people are uniquely positioned to disrupt POWER dynamics, make PROGRESS on deeply entrenched issues, and bring CHANGE for girls and women worldwide,” said Natasha Chibesa Wang Mwansa, Women Deliver Young Leader.
“The Women Deliver 2019 Conference is a watershed moment for gender equality, bringing together thousands of people from across the globe to find solutions to the barriers still faced by women, girls and gender diverse peoples everywhere,” said the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality. “We look forward to continuing our work with governments, businesses, charitable organizations, civil society, and each and every Canadian to leave a legacy post-Women Deliver that will empower women, strengthen families and communities, and create lasting change that benefits everyone.”
The conference will take place from 3-6 June 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Center.
The conference has sparked a global dialogue around the world through satellite events and virtual participation. To date, more than 186 events on six continents have registered as satellite events, estimated to reach more than 82,000 people.
Canada has especially seen a strong effort to mobilize community engagement around the conference through the Women Deliver Mobilization Canada campaign. With events in every region and most provinces and territories, thousands of Canadians have joined together over the past year to advance the conversation on gender equality.
Anyone can tune into the conference for free through the virtual conference, WDLive, which will be streaming from 3-6 June 2019 on wd2019.org.
Women Deliver is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women.