Women Deliver

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Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization that works to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal 5, an initiative focused on improving maternal health.[citation needed] The organization is based in New York and uses a multifactorial approach involving access to a healthy diet, clean water and sanitation, health services, and appropriate education during pregnancy and childbirth.[citation needed] It is targeted towards reducing maternal mortality, achieving universal access to reproductive health, and improving the lives of girls and women globally.[1]

Profile and history[edit]

Women Deliver was founded by Jill Sheffield in 2007 and it was officially launched at its Women Deliver conference which convened nearly 2,000 clinicians, advocates, policymakers, and businesspeople involved in maternal and reproductive health.[citation needed] The group's slogan is, “Invest in women, it pays.”[2]

Women Deliver Conferences[edit]

The first Women Deliver conference was held in London in October 2007.[citation needed] Nearly 2,000 participants (advocates, researchers, policymakers, and global leaders) from 115 countries attended.[citation needed] The conference marked the 20th anniversary of the Safe Motherhood Initiative to support investment in maternal and newborn health.[citation needed]

On June 7 to June 9, 2010, Women Deliver hosted a second global conference in Washington, D.C., drawing nearly 3,500 attendees from 146 countries. The meeting allowed organizations and stakeholders to share best practices and lessons learned and reinvigorate the fight for better health for girls and women.[3]

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.[citation needed]

The fourth Women Deliver's global conference was held in Copenhagen from 16-19 May 2016 following the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) launch. The conference's focus was on implementing the SDGs as they relate to girls and women, with a specific emphasis on health - in particular maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights - and the inter-connections with gender equality, education, environment, and economic empowerment.[4]

The 2019 conference was held in Vancouver, Canada on 2-6 June.[5] The sixth conference was held on 17-20 July 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda.[6]

Women Deliver's approach[edit]

Women Deliver fights for greater investment, increased political will, and overall improved health for girls and women. It raises awareness by highlighting research and field projects, training youth advocates, engaging policymakers and the private sector on maternal health issues, and creating spaces for collaboration and idea generation.[7]


In 2020 the organization issued a public apology after some staff spoke out about a culture of racism;[8] they also launched an internal investigation to look at claims of a 'white savior complex', 'white faux feminism' and toxic cliquish behavior. The investigation was completed four months later and noted that no one single person was responsible for the "challenging" environment;[9] one staff member called this a 'slap in the face' to junior and mid-level staff. The then-president Katja Iversen resigned and the group issued a commitment to change the working environment.[10]



  1. ^ "United Nations Millennium Development Goals". www.un.org.
  2. ^ "An Unwavering Advocate for Girls and Women". Women Deliver.
  3. ^ Weissman, Michaele (June 16, 2010). "It's Time To Pay Attention To Global Women's Health Care". Forbes.
  4. ^ "Women Deliver » Conferences". Women Deliver. Archived from the original on 22 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Women Deliver Conference 2019". Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  6. ^ Gender And Adolescence Global Evidence website, Women Deliver Conference 2023: What We’ve Learned And What We’re Doing About It, article by Silvia Guglielmi, dated September 4th 2023
  7. ^ "Women Deliver » About » the Initiative". www.womendeliver.org. Archived from the original on 24 January 2010. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  8. ^ Reuters website, Top women's rights group probes claims of racism by staff, article by Sonia Elks, dated June 18, 2020
  9. ^ Guardian Newspaper website, article by Liz Ford, dated October 30, 2023
  10. ^ Women Deliver website, Commitment to Anti-Racism, updated May 31, 2022