Women Deliver by Mary Scott

A major international conference is happening from June 3rd to the 6th, in Vancouver and several IIWR-MB members will be there! It promises to be a very energetic week for everyone, with many events to chose from. We are hoping they will have time to share some of their experiences with you through our NEWS blog and information sharing page. There is Youth Deliver component to the conference that will see their active participation.

Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that works to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal 5—reducing maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health. It began with a pretty significant donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2010, with many more Foundations, countries, and corporations now financially supporting its operation. This is the fifth such conference, which takes place every three years and was last held in Denmark in 2016. It will host an estimated 8,000 delegates from more than 165 countries, who paid up to US$700 each to attend. Fortunately, there are youth bursaries, and several IIWR-MB members were successful in accessing these supports.

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will focus on power, and how it can drive ­ or hinder ­ progress and change. Women Deliver states: At the heart of gender equality lies the right to power over one’s self and one’s future. At the heart of the calls for structural change lies the need for a more power balanced and equal world. At the heart of global movements for progress lies the power of many, the power of people, the power of change. Empowerment of girls and women benefits everyone; it can transform lives, change the world and power real, sustainable progress.

There are an additional 100,000 virtual and satellite-event participants expected to take part around the world, and local events to mark the gathering. The conference will present new knowledge, promote world-class solutions, and engage a broad spectrum of voices. It will focus on several issues from health, nutrition, education, economic and political empowerment to human rights, good governance, and girl’s and women’s agency and equality.

Other voices will be close by. For example, Feminists Deliver spearheaded by Ellen Woodsworth, is a “grassroots collaboration of B.C.-based self-identified women, girls, non-binary and Two Spirit people, and the organizations that support them,” which formed last year, and is holding a parallel four-day conference at 312 Main St. to discuss local issues, such as the role of colonization on missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Social media is a strong tool in Women Deliver’s communication – Anyone can join in. To participate, in the virtual conference go to https://tinyurl.com/y6g9xnzy and watch for updates here.

We wish all participants a successful conference, and looking forward to hearing more about building a better world for girls and women from Women Deliver.

Submitted by Mary Scott