Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that works to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal 5—reducing maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health.
Profile and history
Women Deliver was founded by Jill Sheffield in 2007 and officially launched the same year at its groundbreaking Women Deliver conference, which convened nearly 2,000 clinicians, advocates, policymakers, and businesspeople involved in maternal and reproductive health. Since then, the nongovernmental organization has built on commitments, partnerships, and networks mobilized at the conference to keep the preventable tragedy of maternal health on the global policy agenda and to find solutions across sectors to make safe motherhood a reality for all women. At its heart, Women Deliver's message is that maternal health is both a human right and practical necessity for sustainable development. This is echoed by the group’s name and slogan: “Invest in women, it pays.”
On June 7 to June 9, 2010, Women Deliver hosted a second global conference in Washington, D.C., that drew nearly 3,500 attendees from 146 countries. The conference allowed organizations and stakeholders the opportunity to share best-practices and lessons learned and to reinvigorate the fight for better health for girls and women. Health and finance ministers from 30 countries met during the conference with development cooperative ministers and U.N. agency heads to map out a strategy to achieve MDG 5 and 4, 6, 2, and 3. Parliamentarians from 50 countries convened at the conference and met with congressional delegations to discuss how to advance reproductive and maternal health. The conference put world leaders on notice that now is the time to act to achieve MDG 5 and influence progress on all MDGs.
Women Deliver’s third global conference, Women Deliver 2013, was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from May 28–30, 2013. With more than 4,500 participants from 149 countries, the conference was the largest meeting of the decade to focus on the health and empowerment of girls and women. The program featured issues related to the health and well-being of girls and women, with a special focus on the post-2015 development framework, and more than 800 speeches and presentations were given at the six plenaries and 120 breakout sessions.
Women Deliver 2013 attracted media attention from all over the globe. There were 415 journalists on-site at the conference, and hundreds more followed the meeting via the Women Deliver 2013 webcast. The conference resulted on more than 1,500 articles written in global media about girls’ and women’s health and rights.