Wrapping up at Women Deliver

Hi all, MaryBeth here once more, closing out FP2030’s week at Women Deliver 2023! What an exhausting and exhilarating week we’ve had, with conversations, controversies, and above all, plenty of connections.

For me, it was an opportunity to see dear colleagues and meet new ones. I think it was the same for FP2030 in general – we saw many colleague organizations we work with routinely, and connected with others who present new possibilities. It seemed like every session I was in sparked potential collaborations and fresh ideas. Every day, I was awed by the sheer magnitude of good, important work done by the 6,000+ participants in this conference.

The Hon. Winnie Masiko, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda

The Hon. Winnie Masiko, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda

This was my third Women Deliver. Compared to past conferences, this one seemed more unabashedly feminist, with no hesitation by groups from all over the world to claim that word and the anti-patriarchal lens that it brings. The conference also seemed much more expansive, with a theme of “solidarity, spaces, and solutions.” While at first glance, the range of topics in the conference program was dizzying and could have appeared unfocused, the urgency of advancing gender equality brought it all together. In a funding and policy world that is deeply siloed, this space of solidarity among diverse advocates for gender equality seemed to present solutions just by existing.

For FP2030, I think Women Deliver presented an affirmation and a challenge.

The affirmation is in our voice on issues of human rights, beyond just the right to contraceptive access, which resonated so well with the themes of the conference. The conference’s emphasis on decolonization affirmed FP2030’s internal regionalization process in our new hub structure. We also can take affirmation from the new strategies and approaches we are launching – and their clear synergies with the strategies and approaches of colleague organizations. (I will take one more opportunity to encourage you to look at our gender strategy, which aligns very nicely with the themes of solidarity and solutions!)

Joanita Babirye, Co-Founder, Girls for Climate Action

Joanita Babirye, Co-Founder, Girls for Climate Action

As an organization dedicated to a specific (very vital!) issue in the larger fight for gender equality, our challenge is to claim our space while emphasizing our context. Contraceptive access is still an urgent need – and it is related to and interdependent with other priorities, including climate change, LGBTQIA+ rights, economic empowerment, education, child marriage, and caregiving. Our challenge is to see these other priorities not as competing for scarce resources, but as interconnected – in fact even better when interwoven. As Samu always says, we are stronger together.

If we are to radically commit to gender equality – and the global situation demands nothing less – then we all need to take every opportunity to disrupt the patriarchy. A systematic approach to gender equality makes every program more effective.

Ok, enough of my philosophizing – time to turn my attentions to another pressing feminist issue: the Women’s World Cup!

Thanks for reading! Until next time.

MaryBeth Hastings
Senior Gender Advisor, FP2030

Read previous messages from Women Deliver 2023