What's Next for Women and Girls

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By: Stephanie Metherall, UNA-USA Youth Engagement Intern

This week, the Maternal Health Initiative of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars hosted an event examining next steps for global activists following the 4th Annual Women Deliver Conference, which took place in Copenhagen in May 2016. The panel, entitled “After Copenhagen, What Next for Women and Girls?” featured Susan Papp, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Women Deliver; Dr. Mary Nambao, Deputy Director of Mother Health, Ministry of Health in Zambia; Alix Bacon, President, Midwives Association of British Columbia; and Roger-Mark De Souza, Director of Population, Environmental Security, and Resilience, Wilson Center.

Papp gave overview and highlights from the conference, including Women Deliver’s Four C’s: Convening, Connecting, Community building, and Capitalizing. The conference also featured a social enterprise challenge, won by Green Char of Kenya (@GreenChar), which aims to sequester carbon and reduce deforestation by selling clean charcoal briquettes and smokeless cookstoves.

Papp also introduced Women Deliver’s new campaign, Deliver for Good. The campaign is a multi-sector approach to communication and advocacy for women and girls, and aims to highlight the ripple effect of investing in them. So far, 150 organizations have signed up to partner with Deliver for Good, with initial commitments from organizations like Business for Social Responsibility, Plan International, and the African Women’s Development and Communication Network.

The Women Deliver conference allowed individuals and organizations to create intersectional and international partnerships. The Canadian Association of Midwives, for example, has partnered with midwives in South Sudan to support education and stronger community partnerships. Papp also described a new focus on youth; Women Deliver offers a two-year youth fellowship program.

Criticisms of the conference included an inability of the sessions to domesticate tactics for implementing SDGs; Dr. Nambao cited difficulties bringing takeaways from the conference home to Zambia and applying them.

If you’re interested in getting involved with clean cookstove initiatives, like Green Char, check out the United Nations Foundation’s Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

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