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Dear Friend, 

As I look back on 2018, I can’t help but reflect on what a year it has been for gender equality – powered by partnership.

Women Deliver has been fortunate to stand alongside, and learn from, incredible partners who continue to reconfirm that not only is there power in numbers – but also in dedicated collaboration.

Together, we have pushed and pulled to move the needle forward on gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women. In the same breath, we have seen a rise in conservative agendas, and more than a few setbacks.

But amid the twists and turns in the road, we’ve kept our eyes fixed on a forward trajectory, with hope and determination for the way ahead.

Looking back over 2018, the progress is clear.  

World leaders heard the case for gender equality.

June marked an especially bright moment, when the first ever G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, formed by The Right Honorable Prime Minister Trudeau, was developed. I was honored to join an incredible group of sheros and heros to deliver a set of comprehensive recommendations to G7 world leaders on what it would take to make gender inequality history. In 2019, we look ahead to the French G7 and set our sights high.

Young leaders broke down barriers – and silos.

During the International AIDS Conference in March, Women Deliver, and the International AIDS Society co-convened the youth-led and youth-forward Generation Now: Our Health, Our Rights partnership. This catalytic convening mobilized action to integrate the HIV and SRHR communities. The focus? Dismantling the barriers to prevention and care faced by adolescent girls and young women, a key part of achieving #HealthForAll. Stayed tuned for the next iteration of Gen Now at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference.

Partners proved the power of cross-sector collaboration.

More than 400 partners engaged in the global Deliver for Good Campaign, and just last month, Deliver for Good Kenya launched in Nairobi as the first country-level coalition. Nearly 200 Kenyan partners from across sectors – education, agriculture, land rights, youth, labor, and health – mobilized with the shared goal of advancing gender equality. Kenyan, Canadian, and Danish Government Officials joined, alongside Deliver for Good Influencer, Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, to share in the commitment to accelerate action for girls and women across Kenya. We look forward to the next country-level coalition launch – this spring in Senegal.

Women led the way.

In the fall, Women Deliver galvanized high-level attention and action to advance women’s leadership, and highlighted the investment case for Women in Leadership with concrete calls to action. Together with the French Government, the National Democratic Institute, and Proctor & Gamble, Women Deliver also hosted Women Leading the Way - The Power of Women’s Leadership in Politics, Businesses, and Communities at the 73rd UN General Assembly. This event brought together political, private sector, and community leaders to share their experiences in leadership, offer solutions, and advance the dialogue on women in leadership.

And whether at the G7, CSW, UNGA, in humanitarian settings, at the International Conference on Family Planning, or in our daily advocacy and communications, we pushed relentlessly to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights, including a woman’s right to decide on her own body. Along the way, we were never alone, because we know that when we join forces, the effects of our collective work are not just additive – they rise exponentially.

I am very excited for the year ahead. Not least because the Women Deliver 2019 Conference is now within sight and promises to be a global fueling station for tangible impact, possible only because it is co-created with and co-owned by partners around the world.

And I am hopeful. Because I see that, side-by-side, we are ready, eager, and impatient to pave the way toward a more gender-equal world, and because I know that we are not ones to leave opportunity on the table.

I look forward to seizing the opportunity of 2019 and taking it by storm – together.

Sending warmest season’s greetings and lots of energy to keep moving forward, onwards, and upwards in the New Year,

Katja

Copyright © 2018 Women Deliver, All rights reserved.


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