The Women Deliver 2013 concluded, Wednesday, with a call for continued investments in girls and women across the world.
The final day’s speakers included United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark, Former President of Finland Tarja Halonen, African Women’s Development Fund CEO Theo Sawa and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
The guests all addressed the need to place gender issues firmly on the next development agenda, after the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals passes.
The appeal for action came one day before the United Nations’ High-Level Panel is expected to announce its recommendations for the post-2015 development framework.
In her remarks, the UNDP’s Clark called for a global development agenda “which gives priority to gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women to make their own decisions about the lives they lead.”Clark called for a global development agenda “which gives priority to gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women to make their own decisions about the lives they lead.”
In the conference’s closing session, Women Deliver President Jill Sheffield and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates presented the first-ever “Women Deliver Rising Star Awards” to three ladies.
Awardee, Senator Pia S. Cayetano, is the youngest woman elected in the history of the Philippine Senate. She was joined by Imane Khachani, a Moroccan with extensive experience in sexual and reproductive health research and advocacy. South Africa’s Remmy Shawa, who works to promote gender equality in Africa, also won the award.
Sheffield ended the conference on a positive note, “we know, when girls and women survive, all of us thrive.”