by Katja Iversen, President & CEO, Women Deliver @Katja_Iversen
Every three years, delegates from around the world gather at the Women Deliver Conference to drive forward progress for girls and women. Over three and a half days, thousands of decision-makers and influencers from civil society, governments, the private sector and international agencies join advocates, activists and journalists to identify solutions to bring us closer to a gender equal world.
And in 2019, at a time when conservative winds are blowing around the world and threatening to set back gender equality, we’re putting a special emphasis on power. To keep action top-of-mind for every participant, we’ll ask: “How will you use your power?”
So it’s only fair to hold ourselves accountable and ask ourselves the same question: how has Women Deliver used its power as the host of the largest conference in the world on gender equality?
First, we didn’t keep that power to ourselves. We started with a global listening tour, where we spoke to and heard from more than 1,500 individuals to better understand the global landscape—trends, opportunities and challenges—facing girls and women today. And we asked what people would like to see happen at the conference and who they wanted to hear from.
Based on our listening tour, we worked hand-in-hand with more than 150 organizations to co-create a platform and programming that would spotlight the work of hundreds of individuals and organizations tackling these issues.
From the plenary stage to concurrent sessions, to the fueling station (what we term our exhibition hall) and beyond, Women Deliver 2019 (WD2019) will showcase how to shift power dynamics and demonstrate meaningful youth engagement, intersectionality, working across silos and bringing people together across generations, geographies and sectors.
And of course, to demonstrate the power of gender equality, every facet of WD2019 will spotlight new research, data, case studies, solutions and testimonials that underscore how everybody wins in a gender equal world. When girls and women have true equality, there’s a ripple effect that extends way beyond the individual and benefits families, communities, economies and whole societies. This undeniable cascade will be center stage throughout the conference.
To make it truly inclusive and global, Women Deliver is supporting travel and/or registration for more than 1,000 people from across the globe to join us in Vancouver. WD2019 will connect these delegates to the people, resources, ideas and inspiration that will fuel their future work, and their participation will fuel and enrich the global dialogue.
With the focus of more than 8,000 participants from over 165 countries and 2,700 organizations on site and more than 100,000 people engaging in a global dialogue on gender equality around the world, this is a key opportunity – one of many – to move the needle for girls and women.
If we all continue to use our individual power, our power over systems and our power as part of a movement, we can make real change. I hope we all look back at WD2019 and see how, together, we inspired the world to harness power for good, demonstrated the power of gender equality and catalyzed investment where it counts the most for girls and women.
I, for one, can’t wait to see the change that can happen when all of us answer the critical question: How will you use your power?
This article appears in PSI’s Impact magazine, released in tandem with Women Deliver 2019, as part of an ongoing conversation about putting #PowerInHerHands.
Banner Image: courtesy of Women Deliver