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Connecting with data at the 2023 Women Deliver Conference

Some of the Global Health 50/50 collective has just returned from an invigorating week in Kigali, Rwanda at the 2023 Women Deliver Conference. The conference came hot on the heels of the launch of our 2023 Global Health 50/50 Report, Workplaces: worse for women, providing the team with fresh, groundbreaking data to take to the many conversations happening at the conference.

The sixth conference since 2007, Women Deliver brings together grassroots advocates, multilateral governments, the private sector, philanthropies, and youth to convene on advancing gender equality across the globe. The core focus of the conference is on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) but also includes issues impacting girls and women such as climate change, gender-based violence, and unpaid care work.

The conference provided the ideal platform for us to share the findings from our 2023 report on SRHR in the workplace and enabled us to advance the conversation with the latest data and insights. Our research shows that many of the organisations committed to advancing SRHR as part of their health programming were not establishing standards or policies for their own staff.

Many of the organisations that we review in our annual reports were in attendance and the conference was an opportunity to connect with these organisations and discuss their performance in our Gender & Health Index. We handed out report cards to many representatives and encouraged visitors to our booth to compare the performance of 197 organisations.

With 6,000 other delegates in attendance, the conference was enriching and energising and enabled us to connect with feminists around the world. A key part of our strategy is to partner with other organisations and the conference was a fantastic platform to meet new collaborators.

The conference programme was full to the brim with pioneering and inspiring leaders, activists and speakers from all parts of the globe. There were important conversations about holding leaders accountable, empowering the feminist movement, and catalysing collective action to advance gender equality. To hear our collective voices coming together on a shared goal of gender equality informed our thinking and lifted our spirits.

We had a booth in one of the exhibition tents which enabled us to showcase the power of evidence to drive change in global health. We also hosted discussions on how we can apply our methodology to other sectors beyond health and the intricacies of producing national reviews of gender equality in the health system.

We had a blast. We shared drinks, meals, conversations and laughs with so many.  We made new and renewed lifelong connections and friendships. We hope to bring this vitality and vigour to our work in the coming months and years…until the next Women Deliver conference.

Read the reflections of our two researchers, Victoria Olarewaju and Aaron Koay, who attended the conference as part of the GH5050 team in Devex.