Day 3 - Women's place in the global development agenda took centre stage on the final day of the Women Deliver conference.
Sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and women's empowerment need to occupy a principal spot in the new framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals after 2015, keynote speakers emphasized.
That message resounded throughout the three days of Women Deliver, in multiple presentations on family planning, maternal health, adolescent girls, cervical cancer, sexuality, abortion and related issues, and in ministerial and parliamentarians forums held in parallel to the conference.
"Countries where women have rights and opportunity denied cannot maximize their development potential – that can’t happen if half the population is not equally empowered," said Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. Read the Full Story
Day 2 - Enabling family planning use to empower girls and women and protect their health was the theme of day two of the Women Deliver conference. Nine months after developing countries, donors and civil society groups pledged to make voluntary contraception available to millions now lacking access, participants heard there has been significant progress towards that goal.
Keynote speakers were Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA. Both organizations were sponsors, along with the United Kingdom Government, of the London Summit on Family Planning last July.
There, 150 leaders agreed to work to provide contraceptive information, services and supplies to 120 million women in the world’s 69 poorest countries, without coercion or discrimination, by 2020. “We have been working on a new approach that gives women what they really want,” Ms. Gates told the meeting, sharing the story of a young Indian mother who chose family planning so she could properly feed and educate her four children.
“The reason we do this work is concrete and simple,” she said. “Women tell us that having access to contraceptives will help them build a good life for themselves and their families.”
“Family planning is an essential human right, but it is also a key that unlocks untold rewards for both individuals and nations,” said Dr. Osotimehin. “The promise of London is energizing the international community, and UNFPA is determined to deliver on its own commitment to intensify investment in family planning,” he promised. Read Full Story