Registration launched for Women Deliver 2019 Conference as youth-led events kick off a year of global gender equality advocacy

First set of speakers announced for the world’s largest global conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women.

The global advocacy organization Women Deliver announced the first set of speakers for the upcoming Women Deliver 2019 Conference. The triennial Women Deliver Conference is the largest global conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, and is recognized globally as a fueling station of solutions and ideas, and for raising awareness on how to achieve a healthier and more gender equal world.

Speakers include heads of state – including The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada – heads of UN agencies, civil society leaders, as well as unsung community change-makers and other influencers.

Here are the first names of speakers to be released:

  • The Right Honorable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
  • Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, Gender Equality Advocate and Deliver for Good Influencer
  • Helle Thorning Schmidt, Former Prime Minister of Denmark and CEO, Save the Children
  • The Honorable Julia Gillard, Former Prime Minister of Australia; Inaugural Chair, Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College, London; and Chair, Global Partnership for Education
  • The Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Government of Canada
  • Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women
  • Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization
  • Dr. Alvaro Bermejo, Director-General, International Planned Parenthood Federation
  • Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO, Plan International
  • Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International
  • Dr. Alaa Murbait, Medical Doctor and Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women
  • Anna Rosling Ronnlund, Co-Founder and Head of User Experience & Design, Gapminder
  • Carmen Barroso, Co-Chair of Independent Accountability Panel, Global Strategy on Women, Children and Adolescent’s Health
  • James Chau, Creator & Presenter, Global Future with James Chau
  • Jayathma Wickramanayake, United Nations Envoy on Youth
  • John Cary, Author of Design for Good: A New Era of Architecture for Everyone
  • Mohamed Sidibay, Former Child Soldier and Education Activist
  • Nice Nailantei Leng’ete, Anti-FGM Activist, Amref Health Africa, and Women Deliver Young Leader
  • Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief, Devex

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference takes place 3 to 6 June, 2019, in Vancouver, Canada, under the theme “Power. Progress. Change.” It will bring together more than 6,000 world leaders, government officials, leaders from the private sector and civil society, celebrities, academics, advocates, activists, and journalists with the drive to accelerate progress for girls and women everywhere – including an unprecedented amount of young people. Another 100,000 people are expected to participate through the virtual conference or at events held in countries across the globe that will draw attention to the state of gender equality before, during, and after the conference.

“With a fierce focus on solutions, world-class speakers, influencers from all sectors and change-makers from across the globe, the Women Deliver 2019 Conference will be an incredible platform to hone in on the state of the world for girls and women and map what needs to be done to power change and progress,” said Katja Iversen, President/CEO of Women Deliver.

To mark the one-year out milestone, there will be five youth-led events held in five countries to highlight the need for change and how it can happen. These multi-generational events are the first in a series of year-long activities that will be organized to build a drumbeat of gender equality advocacy across the globe in the lead-up to the Women Deliver 2019 Conference.

The five first events are organized by Women Deliver Young Leaders and include:

  • Georgia: A one-day event to highlight the achievements of female entrepreneurs in Georgia and drive conversations on women’s economic empowerment, organized by Gvantsa Khizanishvili.
  • Kenya: “Ignite WD2019 Youth Extravaganza,” a one day theater performance event where youth presenters will use song, dance, and drama to talk about education, gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health and rights, hosted by Maureen Oduor.
  • Nigeria: A panel event where young people, policymakers, and advocates will discuss how to break down gender stereotypes and empower girls and women across the country, organized by Emman Babatunde Ajidagba.
  • Pakistan: A panel discussion and networking event for women leaders from diverse sectors and ages to discuss the state of gender equality in Pakistan, put together by Muhammad Shahzad Khan.
  • Uganda: A flashmob performance at Kampala’s biggest shopping center to mark the one year out milestone to WD2019 and spark conversations on barriers to gender equality in Uganda, orchestrated by Nargis Shirazi.

Maureen Oduor

“Young people around the world are leading the way on gender equality. Women Deliver is not only a vehicle to celebrate their accomplishments – but to provide them with the tools they need to maximize their community impact,” said Women Deliver Young Leader Maureen Oduor, an internationally recognized Kenyan advocate working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescent girls and women.

Women Deliver puts a special emphasis on working with young people, and the conference will be no exception. Twenty percent of conference attendees will be under the age of 30, young people will host their own pre-conference, and youth will be well-represented on the main stage.

“Young people are not only leaders of tomorrow, they are leading today. Their choices, needs, and opportunities to influence will define the world. That’s why is so important for us to listen, learn, and engage them in the conference development,” said Katja Iversen.

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference will come at a time when #MeToo and its global equivalents have pushed gender issues to the forefront, and when support for gender equality and women’s health and rights is more critical than ever. By converging change-makers from across the globe to discuss power – with a focus on the solutions we need – the conference can serve as a catalyst to spark action and change.

This year’s conference in Vancouver, Canada is the fifth Women Deliver Conference, held previously in Copenhagen (2016), Kuala Lumpur (2013), Washington, DC (2010), and London (2007). For more information on the Women Deliver 2019 Conference, please visit

Tareq Salahuddin

Dr. Tareq Salahuddin is an award-winning journalist and a Special Correspondent of News Hour. He is a Public Health Professional working in the development sector. Dr. Tareq, a medical graduate, is a member of Public Health Association of Bangladesh and a former member of the Governing Council and Policy Committee of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), a J2J Fellow on HIV/AIDS and a member of the International AIDS Society. To know more about Dr. Tareq, please visit his personal website ( or simply Google his name.
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