Women in Global Health at Women Deliver 2019: In Review
Occurring once every 3 years, Women Deliver 2019 was a conference that showcased #ThePowerOf our current moment in history. This year's theme was power, and "how it can drive - or hinder - change". Each plenary, interactive session, and networking session provided crucial spaces for women to challenge and reflect on individual and structural power, as well as the power of movements in shaping gender-transformative leadership.
Fresh off the heels of WHA72, our Women in Global Health delegation was in attendance at Women Deliver's 4-day conference in early June. From a moving session of "Catalyzing Your Inner Change Agent" to a inspiring plenary "The Power of Stories: Making SRHR Come to Life" moderated by WGH Executive Director, Dr. Roopa Dhatt, each day was packed with riveting stories of resilience, changemaking, and community.
Here were some of our highlights:
SUNDAY, JUNE 2
The week kicked off with a panel session, "The Future of Medicine: Empowering Women Physician Leaders". Six women physicians, including our ED Dr. Roopa Dhatt, spoke on elevating women physicians to leadership.
“We must examine our structures - if they were created for men, by men— we must change the system for all people.” - Dr. Gigi Osler
MONDAY, JUNE 3
The first official day of the star-studded conference began with opening remarks from Women Deliver President and CEO Katja Iversen, followed by opening statement from the Right Honourable Justin P.J. Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. Watch the opening remarks here, or click the video.
Women in Global Health's primary event was an interactive workshop "Catalyzing Your Inner Change Agent", co-hosted with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The workshop provided participants with a space for self-reflection and inspiration, in order to influence change and growth towards a more gender-equal world.
TUESDAY, JUNE 4
Our second major event of the week was the side-event "Time's Up: Ending Harassment in Global Health". Moderated by CNN Journalist Hannah Vaughan Jones, a panel of remarkable women spoke (including Heroine of Health Sandra Oyarzo Torres) spoke poignantly on their experiences with harassment in the health workplace, and how to protect those who fight for #HealthforAll against harassment.
"We haven’t persuaded decision-makers on the cost of INACTION to end harassment.” - Senior Fellow Ann Keeling
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5
Dr. Roopa Dhatt moderated the deeply moving plenary session "The Power of Stories: Making sexual and reproductive health and rights come to life." Each of the speakers told a powerful and personal story on their experiences with SRHR, stirring emotions and compelling viewers to action. From youth advocates to male allies, each story uncovered perspectives and gave testament to the importance of our stories in the movement for gender equality. Watch the plenary here, or click the video.
Other events of the day included a side-event on the health workforce "All in a Day's Work: Gender equality in
the health system", the poster presentation on our first Gender Equity Hub report, released earlier this year, and a panel with Canadian Women in Global Health, around visiibility, representation and leadership.
THURSDAY, JUNE 6
A week of riveting and inspiring discussions culminated in our last side-event "Investing in the Power of Nurses: What will it take?" Nurses from all over the world provided critical commentary on what it means to truly give power to the health workforce who are critical in delivering health for all.