World’s largest conference on gender equality opens in Vancouver

Filed under: International News,Latest News |

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, kicked off today with more than 8,000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists gathered in Vancouver, and more than 100,000 participating in a global dialogue around the world through satellite events and WDLive, the virtual conference. 1,400 youth delegates from 139 countries are expected to attend the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, where every plenary program and most concurrents feature a young person.

The conference will focus on power, and how it can drive – or hinder – progress and change; and how societies must redefine the concept of ‘power’ and use it as a force for good.

The conference will examine power operating at three levels:

  1. The Individual’s Power – The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will examine girls’ and women’s individual power, self-esteem and agency. And how to strengthen that power.
  2. Structural power – The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will explore and challenge systems, barriers, and opportunities for progress in power relations, including political, economic, and social structures.
  3. The Power of Movements – The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will dive into the power of movements, and how we can shape critical consciousness and marshal collective action for change.

Although the Women Deliver Conference 2019 and the global dialogue which it relates will focus on the question of power, the conference will propose solutions to fill gaps in a wide range of critical issues for gender gender: economic empowerment, women and the environment, food, education, political participation, prevention of violence based on gender, health (including health and reproductive and sexual rights) the rights and much more. 

“Women Deliver 2019 is more than a conference is an important step in the march towards gender equality, said Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver, during the opening press conference of the event. We all have the power to contribute to a more equitable world on the gender plan. If we implement our individual power and our collective power boldly, intelligently and in a spirit of cooperation, progress will follow. ” 

“The Women Deliver conference will be a truly historic week. I look forward to joining with many leaders and base of supporters who have dedicated their lives to the defense and promotion of women’s rights, “said the Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada. “We know we can not lift the foot off the pedal, not even for a moment. I will be at the conference to demonstrate Canada’s leadership on gender equality goes nowhere and we do not just to speak, we only strengthen our position.”

“This conference is also an opportunity to mobilize against those that strengthen the structures of patriarchal power, reject multilateralism and oppose gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director UN Women. “It’s a place where defenders from all sectors of society can unite to defeat the repression.” 

“As a young woman, activist and leader of Women Deliver Young Leader, I am proud to participate in the opening plenary session in order to give visibility to the advocacy by young and solutions for gender equality in the whole world. As Zambia 18 years, I represent not only the future but the present of youth leadership. Young people are particularly well placed to disrupt the dynamics of power, advance PROGRESS on deep-seated problems and bring change for girls and women worldwide, “said Natasha Wang Chibesa Mwansa, head of Women Deliver Young.

“The Women Deliver Conference 2019 is a turning point for gender equality. It brought together thousands of people from around the world to find solutions to the obstacles women, girls and diverse peoples still face, “said the Honorable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister of Women and of gender equality. “We look forward to continuing our work with governments, businesses, charities, civil society and every Canadian to leave a legacy after Women Deliver will empower women, strengthen families and communities and create positive lasting change for all.”

The conference will take place from 3 to 6 June 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Center. The presenters and guest speakers include: 

  • Tarana Burke, founder of the ‘me too’ movement
  • Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International
  • Farwiza Farhan, Leader, Forest, Nature, and Environment Aceh
  • Henrietta H Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Ken Frazier, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Merck + Co., Inc.
  • Melinda Gates, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Waneek Horn-Miller, Indigenous Olympian
  • Hina Jilani, Supreme Court of Pakistan
  • Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
  • Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, UNFPA
  • Angélique Kidjo, Grammy Award winning singer
  • Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, Deliver for Good Influencer, Women Deliver
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuko, Executive Director, UN Women
  • Osvaldo Rudloff, Executive Director, OLACEFS (Latin American and Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions)
  • Ailbhe Smyth, Co-Director, Together for Yes
  • Theo Sowa, CEO, African Women’s Development Fund
  • Maysoon Zayid, Actress, Comedian, Writer and Disability Advocate

The conference has sparked a global dialogue around the world through satellite events and virtual participation. To date, more than 186 events on six continents have registered as satellite events, estimated to reach more than 82,000 people.

Canada has especially seen a strong effort to mobilize community engagement around the conference through the Women Deliver Mobilization Canada campaign. With events in every region and most provinces and territories, thousands of Canadians have joined together over the past year to advance the conversation on gender equality.

Anyone can tune into the conference for free through the virtual conference, WDLive, which will be streaming from 3-6 June 2019 on


One Response to World’s largest conference on gender equality opens in Vancouver

  1. Show the video of the own Natasha Mwansa who spoke at the Women Deliver conference on a stage with prime ministers and presidents and got a stand ovation.

    June 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm

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