Kigali — More than 6,000 delegates from across the world have converged on Kigali, Rwanda, for the Women Deliver (WD) conference aimed at promoting public discourse on women empowerment and the protection of young girls.
Founded in the year 2007, the WD conference is a leading global advocate that champions gender equality, and the health and rights of girls and women, in all their intersecting identities.
WD conferences, among others, also promote a robust civic space for feminist action, organizing, and mobilization by creating space for critical dialogue, knowledge sharing, and networking, while remaining committed to developing an accessible and inclusive platform, both in-person and virtually , to ensure that underrepresented populations and advocates representing the intersectional identities of girls and women, particularly those living in low-and middle-income countries, are meaningfully engaged in the ongoing WD 2023.
At an adolescent girls’ organization exhibition held ahead of the opening of the main WD event yesterday, participants who were mainly young women and adolescent girls were taken through activities of various women and girls centered organizations and how they could seek support for issues bothering them.
A representative of the Gender and Adolescence Global Evidence (GAGE), an NGO, Madam Silvia Guglielmi speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on the sidelines of the exhibition said amplifying girls’ voices and visibility had been highlighted as a key approach to having their needs met.
She therefore, underscored the need for authorities across the world to focus on dedicating enough funds to initiatives geared towards further protecting the girl child.
Touching on some activities of her outfit, she stated that GAGE was a nine-year mixed methods longitudinal research and evaluation program aimed at generating and sharing evidence on good-practice programs and policies targeted at helping adolescent girls in the Global South reach their full potential .
She further revealed that GAGE was the largest global study on adolescents, following 20,000 girls and boys in developing countries to understand what works to enhance adolescent capabilities and empowerment.
Shakira Nuhu, an adolescent girl advocate from Ghana who joined the exhibition also told the Ghanaian Times that there was the need for the implementation of policies across all countries, especially Africa, towards ensuring that the needs of adolescents were prioritised.
She said “we want action now not words. It is time for our voices to be heard and measures taken towards making us feel better in the world. To have the courage to speak up, we also need to feel secure and confident that speaking up will not expose us to any risks or any form or violence.”
Other women and children focused organizations that participated in the exhibition which is part of the side events of the WD conference included, UNICEF, Plan International, the Rwanda Young Women Network, Save the Generation Organization and Amplify Girls among others.
The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and other government officials and representatives of the United Nations (UN) are expected to grace the grand opening of the conference.