By: Asim Nawaz Abbasi
Kigali, Rwanda: The Women Deliver 2023 Conference (WD2023) concluded in Kigali, Rwanda, after a week of productive discussions and commitments. Over 6,300 feminists, 100+ journalists and content creators, 600 scholars, and 87 sponsors from 170 countries gathered to advance gender equality and protect sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and girls.
Dr. Maliha Khan, President and CEO of Women Deliver, highlighted the potential of supporting women and girls with funding and resources to drive positive change in communities. Key outcomes and commitments included a new funding facility by Open Society Foundations to counter the anti-rights movement, a campaign to close the gender nutrition gap, and the launch of the RESPECT Women website to address violence against women and girls.
The UNFPA announced the “Kigali Call to Action: United for Women and Girls’ Bodily Autonomy” to accelerate investments and actions, with a focus on women-led organizations and the feminist movement. Additionally, the conference introduced the Women Deliver Emerging Leaders Program to empower young people with trust-based funding for gender equality and sexual health advocacy.
The conference also emphasized the crucial role of youth in driving change. The Women Deliver Emerging Leaders Program aims to put more trust-based funding into the hands of young advocates, providing them with the necessary knowledge, resources, and leadership opportunities to achieve their gender equality and reproductive rights goals. By engaging youth and supporting their advocacies, the conference aims to strengthen the collective effort to create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.
While acknowledging the work ahead, Dr. Khan emphasized the importance of collective efforts and solidarity to achieve true gender equality and rights for women and girls worldwide, with youth playing a central role in shaping a brighter future for all.