What to expect at Women Deliver 2016

The world’s largest global conference on the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women

Students at Hidassie Primary School. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Credit: GPE/Alexandra Humme

Get the latest updates from Women Deliver on our Liveblog!

Women Deliver’s 4th Global Conference, taking place 16-19 May 2016 in Copenhagen, will be the largest gathering on girls’ and women’s health and rights in the last decade and one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Bringing together world leaders, advocates, policymakers, journalists, young people, researchers, and leaders of corporate companies and civil society, the conference will focus on how to implement the SDGs so they matter most for girls and women.

The Global Partnership for Education is organizing two concurrent sessions, one on improving education for children with disabilities and the other on ensuring education in emergencies, and will be participating in several other partner events.

Below are some highlights from the program.

You can stay updated by subscribing to our blog and news alert, connecting with us on Twitter and Facebook, following our partners’ work through our Global Education Buzz, or by tuning into the Virtual Conference.

Monday, May 16

Education and Health: Identifying synergies to redress gender disadvantage
Side event

Organizer: UNESCO, Global Education Monitoring Report
Time: 14.00 – 16.00
Description: Integrated policies and strategies between education and health can lead to better gender outcomes. Sharing the latest analysis from the Global Education Monitoring Report on the importance of girls’ and women’s education for sustainable development, leaders from education, health and gender equality sectors will examine how they can better work together.

Delivering as One – Global Partnerships for Global Goals
Side event

Organizer: The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Time: 11.00 – 12.30
Description: The universality and interconnectedness of the Global Goals require a holistic approach. In order to effectively implement the 2030 Agenda there is a need to work beyond sectors and to increase the synergy between global partnerships. This session focuses on supporting and fostering cross-sectoral cooperation on the country level and the implications for the role of global partnerships herein.

Tuesday, May 17

Empowering women and girls through health and education
Side event

Organizer: Global Partnership for Education and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Time: 7.00 – 8.00
Description: Evidence shows better education leads to improved health for girls and women, reducing vulnerability to unintended pregnancies and HIV, and yielding independent women able to make informed choices. Linking health and education offers opportunities for transformational progress. The SDGs will require an integrated approach, with coordinated systems, programs and financing, and strong partnerships.

A girls’ and women’s lens on the SDGs

Time: 08:30-10:00
Description: Many leaders have contributed to the development of the SDGs believing that investments in girls and women ignite change for all of society. The most important voices, however, are girls and women themselves. How do they see the SDGs contributing to their lives and the lives of other women? Do they offer enough? How can we ensure women are equal partners in setting the sustainability agenda for everyone? Leaders in government, civil society, and philanthropy share their ideas and plans for girls, women, and a sustainable world.

Moderator: Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF
Keynote: Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Amina J. Mohammed, Minister of the Environment, Nigeria
  • Helen Clark, Administrator, UNDP
  • Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gavi Board Chair
  • Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women
  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia
  • Vivian Onano, Member, UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group and Women Deliver Young Leader, Kenya
  • Faustina Fynn-Nyame, Country Director, Marie Stopes Kenya

Improving education for children with disabilities
Concurrent Session

Organizer: GPE

Time: 10:30-12:00
Description: Globally up to 150 million children are living with disabilities, and girls with disabilities face the greatest barriers to education. In this session, experts will discuss some of the main solutions that schools, governments, and communities have found to deliver quality education for girls with disabilities.

Moderator: Caroline Casey

  • Julia Gillard, Board Chair, GPE
  • Anju Malhotra, Principal Adviser, Gender and Development, UNICEF
  • Aidan Leavy, Inclusion Specialist, Plan International
  • Abia Akram, Chair of the Youth Council of UNICEF, Light for the World

10 Things you need to know about the SDGs
Concurrent session

Time: 13:30-14:30
Description: We’ve said goodbye to the MDGs and embraced a brand-new set of goals and targets, the SDGs. Get ready to put on your gender lens and discover ways of leveraging the SDGs framework to advance the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.

Moderator: Susan Papp, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Women Deliver


  • Rachel Snow, Chief, Population and Development Branch, UNFPA
  • Geoff Adlide, Director, Advocacy and Communications, GPE
  • Eleanor Blomstrom, Program Director/Head of Office, WEDO and the Women’s Major Group
  • Hon. Nana Oye Lithur, Minister for Gender, Children & Social Protection, Ghana
  • Catherine Wanjiru Nyambura, Dandelion Kenya, Women Deliver Young Leader

Ensuring education in emergencies: Protecting girls’ right to learn
Concurrent Session

Organizer: GPE

Time: 10:30-12:00
Description: Emergencies are a significant barrier to education for over half of the world’s out-of-school children, and disproportionately affect girls. This panel will discuss challenges and solutions to meet the needs of girls whose education is impacted by conflict, natural disaster, and/or health emergencies.
Moderator: Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education, Former Prime Minister of Australia

  • Mabel van Oranje, Chair, Girls Not Brides
  • Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
  • H.E. Maker Famba Mwangu, Minister of Education, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Jessica Hjarrand, Inter-Agency Network on Education in Emergencies

Wednesday, May 18

Investing in girls and women: everybody wins

Time: 08:30-10:00
Description: Do investments in girls and women pay off for everyone? It’s time to look at the proof. Does hiring more women and paying them equal wages make companies more successful? As more women engage in environmental work, what effect has it had on our planet? When girls go to school, how do we all “win?” And why don’t we ask if investing in men leads to everyone winning? Investing in girls and women is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.

Moderator: Geeta Rao Gupta, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF
Keynote: Chris Elias, President of the Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
  • Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Hans Vestberg, CEO, Ericsson
  • Kristian Jensen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Denmark
  • Mary Robinson, President, The Mary Robinson Foundation
  • Muhammad Yunus, Chairman, Yunus Centre
  • Chamki, Muppet, Sesame Street, India

Ending child marriage: Justice, equality, and human rights
Concurrent session

Time: 10:30-12:00
Description: Child, early, and forced marriage is a human rights violation that not only undermines gender equality but also carries significant risks to girls’ and women’s sexual and reproductive health and survival. Come explore critical strategies to end child marriage in the context of recent global political and legal developments.

Moderator: Mabel van Oranje, Chair, Girls Not Brides

  • Danielle Engel, Technical Specialist, Adolescent and Youth, UNFPA
  • Melissa Upreti, Regional Director for Asia, Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, General Secretary, World YWCA, Goodwill Ambassador of

the African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage

  • Loveness Mudzuru, Anti–Child Marriage Advocate, Zimbabwe
  • Satvika Chalasani, Technical Specialist, UNFPA
  • H.E. Bety Aichatou Habibou Omani, Minister of Secondary Education, Niger

Thursday, May 19

Technical and vocational education: What works for young women
Concurrent session

Time: 13:30-14:30
Description: Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems are effective at bringing more young women into labor markets, yet are not optimally used by women. This participatory “fishbowl” session will explore innovations for increasing young women’s access to TVET.

Moderator: Delores McLaughlin, Senior Policy Advisor Economic Security, Plan International

  • Emanuela Pozzan, Gender Specialist, International Labor Organization
  • Celine Gratadour, Skills Focal Point, Agence Française de Développement
  • Annick Fabienne Thiobiano, AIESEC, Women Deliver Young Leader, Burkina Faso


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