Media Advisory: UN Women at Women Deliver 2023 Global Conference

Media contact: Aijamal Duishebaeva, [ Click to reveal ]

Editorial coverage:

As the global champion for women and girls, UN Women will strongly collaborate with  Women Deliver 2023 Global Conference, bringing together civil society and women’s rights activists; along with the next generations of changemakers, including youth and visionaries who were instrumental in building and driving the momentum of Generation Equality.

In 2023, Women Deliver Conference is taking place coinciding with the Midpoint Moment of Generation Equality – which will be held in September 2024 in New York. Convened by UN Women, the Generation Equality Forum (GEF) is an unprecedented global effort to accelerate investment and implementation on gender equality in today's context of stalled progress and regression.  By bringing together diverse stakeholders from every part of society, Generation Equality aims to disrupt inaction, drive political will and accountability, and ensure that the bold ambitions of the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action on women’s rights are finally implemented, and the Sustainable Development Goals are achieved, leaving no one behind. 

Despite some progress, real change has been slow. Multiple obstacles remain unchanged in law and in culture. As a result, women continue to be discriminated against, their contributions are undervalued, they continue to work more, earn less, have fewer choices, and experience multiple forms of violence at home and in public spaces.

The Women Deliver 2023 Global Conference will also be the scenario for UN Women and UNDP to launch the experimental twin indices: Global Gender Parity Index (GGPI) and the Women’s Empowerment Index (WEI) which provide a multidimensional measurement framework to guide national and international policy action, research and advocacy to diagnose the root causes of structural gender inequality, identify game-changers and spur further commitments. The WEI measures women’s power and freedoms to make choices and seize opportunities in life. The GGPI evaluates the status of women relative to men and exposes some of the remaining gaps in achieving parity between women and men. 

Below are the UN Women activities taking place at the Women Deliver 2023 Global Conference.

UN Women events at Women Deliver 2023 Conference:

  • Generation Equality Impact Fest: “A Call to push forward for gender equality” high-level event: This high-level opening event will provide a context of the current state of affairs and synthesizing understanding of the anti-rights actors and their tools in pushing back against the gender equality agenda. It will also highlight evidence from Generation Equality and its Action Coalitions and Compact of how innovative multi-stakeholder, intergenerational models can, through collective action for gender equality, counter anti-rights movements. The session will issue “a call for collective action for pushing forward for gender equality”; highlighting good practice through the Generation Equality actions, commitments and modalities of engagement. Speakers include UN Women Executive Director, Ms. Sima Bahous, co-hosts of Generation Equality Mid-Point moment, Generation Equality Action Coalition leaders, Generation Equality commitment makers.

    18 July, 11.00-12.30, venue – Kigali Convention Centre
  • Generation Equality Impact Fest: Generation Equality 101: This 90-minute session aims at raising awareness about the initiative’s trajectory answering the “What, Why and How of Generation Equality” A Ted talk-style interactive, energetic discussion will bring a select group of the Generation Equality community – members states, civil society organizations, UN agencies, the philanthropy and the private sector. During and after the session, a UN Women Generation Equality helpdesk will be available to provide more details on joining the initiative and answering any inquiries from the participants. The helpdesk may remain throughout the entire duration of the conference. 

    18 July, 16:00 to 17:30 Kigali time, venue – Kigali Convention Centre
  • Generation Equality Impact Fest: Accountability Workshop: The objective of the session will be to a) to provide an update on the 2023 Accountability Report, including a sneak-peak of the results of the second Accountability Survey, and b) create a space for knowledge sharing, exchange and dialogue with complementary feminist accountability processes, discuss synergies and build momentum for collective accountability towards the Generation Equality Midpoint Moment. The session will consist of following segments: Keynote Address, Reporting on Generation Equality Commitments, and Why accountability matters panel discussion. Speakers and participants will include civil society, youth-led organisations, adolescent girls, Member States, Philanthropic organizations, for-profit organizations. 

    18 July, 14.00-15.30, venue – Kigali Convention Centre
  • Charting the Path to Equal: Launch of Two New Experimental Indices on Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality: UN Women and UNDP come together to launch a transformative initiative: the unveiling of twin sets of experimental indices on gender equality and women’s empowerment. This event marks a pivotal moment in the global pursuit of gender parity, as these innovative indices aim to redefine the measurement and understanding of progress towards gender equality. Through rigorous research and data-driven approaches, these indices will shed light on the complex challenges faced by women worldwide and pave the way for targeted interventions and policy reforms. Be part of this momentous occasion as we embark on a new chapter in the fight for gender equality and empowerment. Speakers include Sima Bahous (Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UN Women); Achim Steiner (Under-Secretary General and Administrator, United Nations Development Programme) (Virtual); Papa Seck (Chief, Research and Data, UN Women); Yanchun Zhang (Chief Statistician, UNDP); and other high-profile speakers. 

    18 July, 1:30-2:30pm, venue- UN Foundation Nest Hub, Norrsken House Kigali Town Hall (KN 78 St, Kigali, Rwanda)
  • Conversation with UN Trust Fund grantee organizationsThe UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) is supporting 44 civil society and women’s rights organizations (CSOs/WROs) who are recipients of funding to attend and take active role during Women Deliver 2023 Conference. This side event will be an opportunity to bring them together in an open dialogue with the other UN Trust Fund partners such as Alliance for Feminist Movements, UN Member States who are supporting UN Trust Fund (such as the UK, Sweden, Canada and others), UN Women and other UN agencies, as well as other interested parties at the conference. The open dialogue and exchange will provide an opportunity to strategize for joint advocacy and collective action for ending violence against women and girls. Speakers will include UN Trust Fund Chief, UN Trust Fund grantees and donor representatives, and Alliance for Feminist Movements representative. 

    18 July, from 7:00 to 8:30am, venue - Ubumwe Grande Hotel - Ikazw, Kigali, Rwanda
  • Status of Women in Agri-food Systems and Rural Areas: Following the presentation of the status of women in agrifood systems report by FAO, the session aims to discuss ways to empower women and closing the gender gap in agrifood systems as well as reducing hunger, increasing incomes, and strengthening the resilience of rural communities. The status of women in agrifood systems report uses extensive new data and analyses to provide a comprehensive picture of women’s participation, benefits, and challenges they face working in agrifood systems globally. Speakers include Hon. Bayisenge Jeannette, MIGEPROF, Mr. Yusuf Murangwa, Rwanda National Institute of Statistics, representatives of FAO, UN Women and USAID. 

    18 July, 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm, venue – M Hotel
  • Preventing Violence against Women: From Evidence to Action: The event is co-organized by the World Health Organization and UN Women to advance commitments to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls as part of the Generation Equality Forum's Gender-Based Violence Action Coalition. Our panel speakers will share their experiences and insights on how to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, using evidence-based strategies and tools. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in discussions and network with like-minded individuals, all working towards a common goal of ending violence against women and girls and creating a safer world for all.

    17 July, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm, venue – Ubumwe Grand Hotel (KN 67 Street Kigali)
  • Gender and Technology: Standing on the Edge of a New Frontier: The session aims to bring together a variety of stakeholders and experts who will share their opinions and research on how to influence the development of technology and innovation to provide solutions to accelerate progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. This will include discussions on: a) the policy actions required to ensure women and girls are equipped with the knowledge, awareness and skills to leverage connectivity for their economic and social empowerment; b) the challenges of developing legislation that reduce large-scale, extreme risks from transformative technologies; c) the critical role multi-stakeholder partnerships play in advancing gender equality in the digital world, among others. The event will provide a space for participants to share their views on why it is a critical moment to invest in this topic and take action to bridge the gender digital divide. It will also provide a space for participants to share insights on how to implement CSW67 key recommendations.

    19 July, 15:30 - 17:00, venue – Kigali Convention Centre, Room MH3.2
  • "We No Go Gree!: Women’s Movement-Allyship, Solidarity and Convening": "We No Go Gree: Women’s Movement-Allyship, Solidarity and Convening": In March 2022, five Gender-Related Bills reached a historic climax in Nigeria's National Constitution Review. In response to the Bills being thrown out, over 200 women’s groups marched on the National Assembly and said, “We No Go Gree’, Pidgin” for “We disagree!”. The Council of Traditional and Religious Leaders of Africa (COTLA) have also boldly said ‘We No Gree’ and championed abolishment of harmful practices including money-wife and female genital mutilation (FGM). This event will look at what it takes to effectively push-back against the push-back and features a fast-paced hackathon for lesson sharing and connection-building to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.

    20 July, 07:00 - 8:30 am, venue – Serena Hotel
  • Fighting the gender pay gap in the health and care sector: The Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), led by the ILO, UN Women, and the OECD, will be present at Women Deliver 2023 Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, one of the largest multi-sectoral convenings to advance gender equality, with an in-person only concurrent session on Fighting the gender pay gap in the health and care sector on Tuesday, 18 July 2023, from 9:30 to 11:00 at Kigali convention centre, room MH 3.1.

    18 July 2023, 9:30 - 11:00, Kigali Convention Centre, room MH 3.1.
  • Accountability Moment: Generation Equality Bodily Autonomy and SRHR Coalition: This event will mark the largest gathering of the Action Coalition on Bodily Autonomy and SRHR since its inception, aiming to bring together Leaders, 396+ Commitment Makers and prospective coalition members together to draw attention to emerging “stories of impact” to date on the four action areas of the Action Coalition; learn and share the emerging new “gold standards” of feminist and inclusive approaches to bodily autonomy and SRHR principles and good practices, and identify feminist good practices and approaches for up-scaling and establish supportive action partnerships.

    19 July, 13:30 - 15:30, venue – Kigali Convention Centre, AD12.2  

  • Gender and Technology: Standing on the Edge of a New Frontier: The session aims to bring together a variety of stakeholders and experts who will share their opinions and research on how to influence the development of technology and innovation to provide solutions to accelerate progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. This will include discussions on: a) the policy actions required to ensure women and girls are equipped with the knowledge, awareness and skills to leverage connectivity for their economic and social empowerment; b) the challenges of developing legislation that reduce large-scale, extreme risks from transformative technologies; c) the critical role multi-stakeholder partnerships play in advancing gender equality in the digital world, among others. The event will provide a space for participants to share their views on why it is a critical moment to invest in this topic and take action to bridge the gender digital divide. It will also provide a space for participants to share insights on how to implement CSW67 key recommendations. 

    19 July, 15:30 - 17:00, venue – Kigali Convention Centre, Room MH3.2 

  • Panel: Advancing Feminist Climate Justice Through the Rule of Law: This session will address the huge gap in optimizing the potential of the rule of law and justice approaches in collective action to advance climate justice for women and girls. It will explore good practices and promising approaches on how legal and justice interventions have been utilized to achieve gender-transformative climate action and strengthen accountability for the promotion of women and girls’ human rights. The panelists will share their expertise and experiences on using legal and justice approaches to promote women’s environmental rights, build their resilience to climate impacts and strengthen women's leadership in climate decision-making processes.

    20 July, 09:30 - 11:00 am, venue – Kigali Convention Centre, Room MH1.2

UN Women will also speak at the following official events during Women Deliver:

  • Ministerial Forum: Led by the Government of Rwanda, the Ministerial Forum aims to bring together Ministers of Youth, Education, Environment, Women’s Affairs, ICT, etc., from countries from North and South for an exchange of experiences to challenge and re-commit to new ways of implementing transformational programmes that will impact the lives of women and girls. In this era of global crises, discussions will also focus on the multilateral accountability mechanisms in advancing gender equality across different sectors as a way of accelerating progress in reaching the long-awaited gender equality and equity outcomes. Speakers include United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous.

    17 July, 10.30 am, venue – TBD
  • Plenary - Gender equality in the era of multiple crisesA dynamic discussion between leaders from civil society, the UN, government, and private sector, on opportunities and challenges ahead. With an emphasis on passing the mic to women on the frontlines, leaders from civil society, the UN, government, and activists will apply a feminist lens and discuss the intersectional impacts to some of the global crises around the world and their response. Using research and data, this session seeks to identify setbacks on progress and inequities exacerbated by crisis. It will also explore the ways in which girls, women, and youth have led and contributed to the various responses to crises, why their engagement is critical, and the barriers faced when trying to meaningfully and systematically include them in response policies and programs. Finally, this plenary will host a thought-provoking discussion on macro-solutions for safeguarding gender equality in the face of crises, ceding space to decolonial and feminist leaders to examine opportunities and solutions to build back in a more just, equitable, and inclusive way.  Panelists include United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous. 

    18 July, 8.30 am, venue – Kigali Convention Centre
  • Launch of the State of the World’s Fathers Report 2023. Equimundo (formerly Promundo) has produced a biannual report since 2015 as a central research and advocacy publication for the MenCare Global Fatherhood Campaign. United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous will be delivering opening remarks. 

    18 July, 5.30 pm, venue – Kigali Convention Centre (TBC)
  • Youth Pre-ConferenceSpeaking Truth to Power: Young people are changing the world today, creating the reality of tomorrow. Speaking up, challenging norms, collaborating, and building networks—young advocates are driving positive change in their communities, countries and around the world. Speakers include Lopa Banerjee, Director of Civil Society Division, UN Women. 

    17 July, time and venue – TBD

UN Women Senior Officials available for interviews at Women Deliver 2023:

Please contact aijamal.duishebaeva[at] to set up interviews.

  • Maria-Noel Vaeza, Generation Equality Project Executive, UN Women

Maria-Noel Vaeza assumed functions as the ad-interim Generation Equality Project Executive in May 2023. Previously, Ms. Vaeza worked as Regional Director for the Americas and the Caribbean, and as Director of the Program Division at the UN Women Headquarters in New York. Ms. Vaeza joined UN Women from the UNOPS Headquarters in Copenhagen, where she served as Director for Global Portfolio Services Office and Partnerships Practice Group and was responsible for the operational results of UNOPS global portfolios and for the establishment of UNOPS strategic partnerships.

Ms. Vaeza previously served as the Regional Director of UNOPS for Latin America and the Caribbean, responsible for a regional portfolio of 270 projects in 22 countries with a total budget of $ 2.4 billion for the 2007-2013 period and an annual average delivery of nearly $ 400 million. She spent 8 years at UNDP, where she held various posts including Senior Advisor, Deputy Resident Representative in Paraguay, and Senior Manager for the Recovery, Reconciliation and Reform Programme.

Prior to joining the UN, Ms. Vaeza held multiple positions in Uruguay’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as Political Counselor at Uruguay’s Embassy to the US and as Delegate of Uruguay to the UN General Assembly. She was also the alternate Representative of Uruguay to the World Bank Board of Directors.

Ms. Vaeza is a national of Uruguay. She holds a Doctorate in Law and Social Science from the University of the Republic of Uruguay and a Master’s Degree in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC.

  • Lopa Banerjee, Director, Civil Society Division, UN Women

Lopa Banerjee is the Director of the Civil Society Division at UN Women. She leads UN Women’s work on partnering with, supporting and strengthening women’s rights groups and civil society networks as well as their contribution, participation and influence in policy discussion at global, regional and national levels. 

Lopa’s work focuses on partnership development with civil society organizations to influence global action on gender equality, in particular related to standard setting, policy discussion and stakeholder accountability. She leads UN Women’s strategic engagement, advocacy and alliance building initiatives with women’s and human rights groups, social justice actors and stakeholders including faith-based constituencies, men and boys’ groups, trade union movements, youth groups, among others, to promote intersectional partnerships for gender equality. She supports UN Women’s convening role in creating dialogue platforms and opportunities where UN Women engages multiple stakeholders – civil society, think tanks, academia, member states for political influence and support for the gender equality agenda. 

A gender and human rights thematic expert with substantive experience in social policy and governance issues across Asia and Africa, Lopa has worked for over 3 decades on international development, policy advocacy, communication and partnership building, across the UN and in the private sector. Prior to the UN she worked with the private sector as well as with civil society, in India. Before joining UN Women, Lopa worked with UNDP and OHCHR in South Africa and UNICEF in Iran (the Islamic Republic of), Bangladesh and New York. In India, Lopa worked for several years in communication, research and advocacy. 

Lopa’s areas of specialization include feminist policy advocacy and analysis, and inclusive partnership development and engagement. She lives in New York City.

  • Papa Seck, Chief Statistician, Research & Development Section, UN Women

Papa Seck is the Chief Statistician at UN Women. Since joining UN Women in 2009, he has led statistics and data work at UN Women and has also contributed to the Research work of UN Women more broadly, including co-authoring two editions of Progress of the World’s Women as well as various other research products. He leads UN Women's efforts to monitor the SDGs and for the past year has coordinated the UN System’s efforts to ensure the inclusion of strong gender indicators in the SDGs. 

He led the development of UN Women's flagship programme initiative on gender statistics: Making Every Woman and Girl Count, to improve the production and use of gender relevant statistics and to help countries systematically monitor the Sustainable Development Goals form a gender perspective, and is currently leading its implementation. He also helped to develop of the Evidence and Data for Gender Equality (EDGE) programme, in collaboration with the UN Statistics Division, to develop innovative new measures and standards to measure asset ownership and entrepreneurship from a gender perspective.

  • Maxime Houinato, Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, UN Women

Maxime Houinato is UN Women Regional Director for East and Southern Africa since September 2021. Prior to this, Dr. Houinato was UN Women Country Representative in Uganda since 2018 where he contributed to significant growth of programme through the successful implementation of a robust resource mobilization strategy. Before going to Uganda, Dr. Houinato served as Deputy Regional Director of UN Women Regional Office for Western and Southern Africa (2008-2014) and UN Women Country Representative in Mali (2014-2018). Dr. Houinato has been an active member of the UN Regional Quality and Support Assurance Team of the UNDG in West Africa, and a key contributor to UN’s "Deliver as One" model. He supported the design and implementation of a series of positive legislation, public policies, and large-scale programs to promote women’s leadership, the involvement of women in business, and critical value-chains as well as ending violence against women and girls.

Prior to joining the UN, between 2000 and 2008, Dr. Houinato held the roles of Deputy Regional Director (West Africa), and Regional Director (Southern Africa) for Oxfam UK. He also worked for other international NGOs such as Catholic Relief Services, Africare, and the Academy for Educational Development – in various locations including Benin, Ghana, Senegal, Niger, the UK, and Thailand.

Maxime holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Abomey-Calavi University in Benin, a Master of Arts (MA) in International Development from Brandeis University in the US, and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Applied Sociology from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal.

  • Jennet Kem, UN Women Representative in Rwanda

Ms. Jennet Kem, appointed as the UN Women Country Representative in Rwanda with effect from 1st April 2022, brings more than 27 years of experience in a wide range of gender and human rights issues including Gender-responsive governance, Gender Responsive Budgeting, Advocating for Women’s Human Rights using CEDAW and related instruments; Ending Feminized Poverty and Violence against women and Girls; Advancing Gender and Juvenile Justice; Mobilizing leaders and communities for Gender Equality, Peace, Justice, and Humanitarian Action, amongst others. 

She came to Rwanda from Burundi where she served as Country Representative for UN Women from 2017-2022 and contributed to position women in leadership and peacebuilding at local level. She initiated the concept of positioning women at the center of efforts to end malnutrition and highlighting their contributions to critical agriculture value chains. Before joining UN Women in Burundi, Ms. Kem served as UN Women Country Representative in Sudan from 2015-2017; Senior Policy Advisor on ending violence against Women at the UN Women Regional Office for East and South Africa (2014-2015); Manager of the UN SG’s UNiTE Campaign to end violence against women-leading the secretariat in Addis Ababa to launch the campaign in more than 20 countries-(2011-2014); Senior Gender Advisor for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) in New York USA (2009-2011); Gender Advisor on Public Finance Mgt and Economic Empowerment for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London (2008-2009); Inaugural Manager of the Gender Equality Fund for CIDA-Canada (2002-2004) She inaugurated UNIFEM Country Programme Manager in Cameroon-(2004-2008). Ms. Kem started her leadership journey in human rights and equality as the Founding Director for Women’s in the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, Cameroon 1998-2002).

She holds a First Degree, Master’s degree, and DEA in Law from the University of Yaoundé-Cameroon as well as a Postgraduate Certificate from School of Administration and Magistracy (Cameroon). Jennet is currently a commissioned Ph.D. Research Fellow.

She has a passion for equality, justice and community development and spends her spare time researching, training and contributing to these ideals.