More than 3,000 leaders, policymakers and advocates from over 150 countries will take part in a three-day global conference on women and girls in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Tuesday.
Women Deliver 2013 is the decade’s largest sit-down on issues pertaining to women’s health and rights, according to a statement issued by its organizers on Monday.
“The conference will feature more than 100 sessions with talks by some of the world’s leading voices on girls’ and women’s issues,” said the statement, adding that people taking part in the talks include “Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Chelsea Clinton, Board Member of the Clinton Foundation; Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Foundation (UNFPA); and Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Malaysian Prime Minister Honorable Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak will lead the opening ceremony on the first day of the meeting.”
According to the statement, organizations – including the World Bank, the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization – will release during the conference “major new research and reports focused on the benefits of investing in girls and women.”
Al Arabiya spoke to Janna Oberdorf – director, advocacy and communications at Women Deliver – who said although the conference officially kicks off on Tuesday, advocates have organized a number of pre-meetings to discuss key issues that affect girls and women.
“From a special forum on cervical cancer to a meeting focused on HIV and reproductive health, organizations are already strategizing to improve the health and well-being of girls and women from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,” she told Al Arabiya. “The Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders, a group of youth advocates representing more than 60 countries, held a youth pre-conference to talk about the future of development and how to address the specific needs of the growing youth population.”
“We hope that these meetings and events will set the stage for continued conversation, sharing, and engagement – but most importantly action.”