Media Advisory: UN Women at Women Deliver 2016


Media Contacts:

Oisika Chakrabarti, Ph: +1 646 781-4522; Email: oisika.chakrabarti[at]
Urjasi Rudra, Ph: + 1 646 781-4465; Email: urjasi.rudra[at]

WHAT: UN Women will be at the Women Deliver 2016 Conference in Copenhagen, calling for the urgent need for increased and sustained investments to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Gender Equality Goal 5, can make a real and transformative change in people’s lives. During the Conference, UN Women will co-sponsor a Ministerial Forum and host a number of key events highlighting cross-cutting themes related to the 2030 Agenda, including how to prioritize gender equality in budgets and policies, ensuring policy actions that move the needle on ending violence against women and women’s reproductive health and rights, and ensuring strengthened support for women’s organizations to allow space for their work—which is a critical factor in the implementation and monitoring of gender equality policies.

The Women Deliver 2016 conference will be the largest gathering on girls’ and women’s health, rights and well-being in the last decade, and one of the first major global conferences since the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals. This year the conference focuses on how to implement the SDGs to achieve transformative impact for women and girls everywhere.

WHEN/WHERE: 16–19 May, Copenhagen, Denmark

WHO: UN Women senior officials


The Women Deliver 2016 Conference, taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark, is expected to convene more than 5,000 global leaders, policymakers, advocates, youth and media from 150 countries, to discuss strategies for ensuring that implementation of the SDGs transforms the lives of women and girls worldwide.

UN Women believes that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development offers a real opportunity to drive lasting change for women’s rights and equality, and to bring universal, comprehensive and transformative change in women’s and men’s lives. Making this agenda come to life will need political will and concrete financial investment to match the commitments.

Research underlines the benefit of women’s empowerment and gender equality for societies everywhere: for instance, if women played an identical role to men in labour markets, as much as USD 28 trillion could be added to global annual GDP by 2025. When women are at the peace tables, their participation increases the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least two years by 20 per cent, and 35 per cent over 15 years. And a child born to a mother who can read is 50 per cent more likely to survive. Yet, global reviews undertaken in 2015, during the 20 years’ commemoration of the historic Beijing Conference, revealed while there has been progress on women’s rights and gender equality, it has not been enough. Today, only one in five parliamentarians is a woman and women continue to earn less, have fewer assets and bear the burden of unpaid work and care. Women are on average paid 24 per cent less than men globally for the same work, and overall largely concentrated in vulnerable and low-paying activities with 75 per cent of women’s employment in developing regions being informal and unprotected. Violence against women continues to affect one in three women, making it one of the most widespread human rights violations that also comes with enormous economic costs to society.

Implementation of the SDGs require a radical shift in policy actions and programme planning.

UN Women is calling for action that ensures gender equality is a top priority in decision-making on budgets and policies to implement the SDGs; increased support and funding to women’s organizations, enabling them to influence decisions on implementation, monitoring and follow-up of the SDGs; and gender-responsive, inclusive and sustainable macroeconomic framework—one that generates resources for gender equality, promotes well-being, and is measured not only by GDP growth, but also by creating decent work and secure livelihoods, mobilizing resources for vital public services such as education, health, water and sanitation, rising living standards, enjoyment of human rights and gender equality.

UN Women is also urging increased prioritization and investment in quality and comparable gender statistics to track progress on all gender-related targets, and close the gender data gaps. Data and statistics are essential for smart policy. UN Women works on gender data through its Flagship Programme Initiative “Making Every Woman and Girl Count,” which will support countries to improve the production, accessibility and use of gender statistics over the next five years.

INFORMATION FOR MEDIA: For media registration and accreditation, please visit

Media not attending can register for the Virtual Conference here and check out the online newsroom at:

SOCIAL MEDIA: Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #WD2016 and #Planet5050 via @UN_Women

UN Women will speak at the following events: 

16 May

  • Investing in Girls and Women: Best Buys in Finance, Education and Health, Ministerial Forum co-sponsored by the Government of Denmark, UN Women, UNFPA and Women Deliver, opening on 16 May, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.; 17–18 May, 10.15 a.m.–12.30 p.m.; and Regional Caucuses on 19 May, 9 a.m.–12 p.m., Bella Center. Over 30 Ministers of Health, Education, Finance, Women’s Affairs and Development Cooperation from around the world will discuss the “12 Best Buys” in women and girls to ensure that the SDGs have a meaningful impact on the lives of girls and women.
  • Watch a video message from UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka:

  • Consultation on A Gender Equality Framework for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), a side event organized by UN Women, 16 May, 1–3 p.m., Bella Center Room B4 M3-4. A panel discussion moderated by Kristin Hetle, UN Women Director of Strategic Partnerships, will highlight with evidence and successful strategies, how gender inequalities impact women’s reproductive health outcomes, influence women’s empowerment and respond to gender-based discrimination. There will be an opportunity to input to a proposed framework on gender equality for RMNCAH developed by UN Women and partners. Speakers include Purna Sen, Director of Policy, UN Women; Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Cooperation and La Francophonie, Canada; Heran Abebe, Senior Gender Adviser, Pathfinders Ethiopia; Tamil Kendall, Director, Women’s and Maternal Health at the Ministry of Health, British Columbia, Canada and Nazneen Damji, UN Women Policy Advisor, HIV and Health.
  • Education and Health: Identifying Synergies to Redress Gender Disadvantages, a side event organized by UNESCO, 16 May 2016, 2–4 p.m., Bella Centre, Room B4-1, will share recent evidence from the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report on the importance of girls’ and women’s education for the success of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Distinguished speakers include, Aaron Benavot, Director, Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report; Ingibjorg Gisladottir, Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, UN Women; Helga Fogstad, Director, Department for Global Health, Education and Research, NORAD; Toyin Saraki, Founder-President, Wellbeing Foundation Africa and Sarah Hendricks, Director of Gender Equality, Gates Foundation.

17 May

  • Official Press Conference: When the World Invests in Girls and Women – Everybody Wins, 17 May, 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM, Bella Centre. Part I of the press conference will focus on the launch of McKinsey & Company’s new paper, Delivering the Power of Parity: Toward a more gender-equal society 11.15 a.m.-12 noon). Part II of the briefing (12-12.30 p.m.) will focus on closing the gender data gap, to ensure the implementation of the SDGs and their transformative impact on the lives of women and girls. Speakers will include: Cathy Russell, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, United States of America;  Melinda Gates, Co-founder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Natasha Stott Despoja,  Ambassador for Women and Girls, Australia; Papa Seck, Policy Specialist, UN Women; and Theo Sowa, CEO, The African Women’s Development Fund (moderator). Watch the livestream for the press conference here:

  • Reproductive Rights and Access to Abortion in Conflict, concurrent session co-organized by UN Women, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Center for Health and Gender Equality (CHANGE), 17 May, 1.30–2.30 p.m., Room B3-2. A moderated discussion with Julienne Lusenge (Congolese leader of women’s organizations), Pramila Patten (Vice Chairperson of CEDAW Committee) and Catrin Schulte-Hillen (midwife and Médecins Sans Frontières coordinator of reproductive rights and sexual violence care) will explore the practical and legal implications of current failures to provide abortion services and post-abortion care to victims of conflict-related sexual violence, and propose actions to remedy the situation. Women Deliver young leader Georgiana Epure will moderate the panel and deliver its conclusions.
  • Applying Gender Responsive Budgeting to Address Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, concurrent session organized by UN Women, 17 May, 3–4 p.m., Room B4-2. As we embark on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, gender responsive planning and budgeting (GRB) is an important instrument to ensure adequate and efficient resource allocations for gender equality commitments. Nadia Benali, Head, Social Departments Division, Directorate of Budget, Ministry of Finance, Morocco; Roland Schneider, Senior Expert, Federal Performance Management Office (FPMO), Federal Chancellery of Austria; and Emilia Reyes, Coordinator, Gender Policies and Budgets, Equidad de Género, Mexico, join Purna Sen, Director of Policy, UN Women, for a conversation to share best practices on GRB as a means of improving the impact of domestic resources and international public finance.
  • Creating Enabling Environments for Civil Society, 17 May, 6–8 p.m., Bella Center Room B4 M1-2. The side event convened by UN Women will be an interactive dialogue with civil society representatives, on ways to ensure enabling environments for civil society in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Moderated by Lopa Banerjee, UN Women’s Chief of Civil Society Section, the discussion will examine ways that Member States, UN Women, and civil society can partner better to realize gender equality and women’s empowerment and rights.
  • Ending Violence against Women and Girls: A Comprehensive Approach, concurrent session co-organized by UN Women and UNFPA, 18 May, 10.30 a.m.–12 p.m., Room B3-4. A moderated debate on a range of critical strategies to end violence against women and girls with Marai Larasi, Executive Director of Imkaan and Co-Chair of Ending Violence Against Women Coalition, U.K.; Joy Ezeilo, Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, and Executive Director of Women’s Aid Collective; Claudia Garcia-Moreno, Team Leader for Sexual Health, Gender, Reproductive Rights and Adolescence, WHO; and Vivian Onano, Community and Partnerships Manager at Africa 2.0 Foundation and Global Youth Advocate for the Mara Mentor Programme. The debate will be moderated by Juncal Plazaola-Castaño, Violence against Women Data Specialist, UN Women, and Geeta Lal, Senior Technical Advisor, Midwifery and Strategic Partnerships, UNFPA.

For up-to-date coverage of events at Women Deliver, check: