Power. Progress. Change: The SUN Movement at the 2019 Women Deliver Conference
The Women Deliver Conference is the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women. Through plenary panels, concurrent sessions, and side events, the Women Deliver 2019 Conference (#WD2019) – held 3-6 June in Vancouver, Canada – was a key moment for the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement to showcase ‘the power of we’ for progress and change – spanning stakeholders and sectors – to accelerate gender equality for girls and women. For lasting success, this work must include scaling up work with civil society and women’s organisations, governments and the private and public sector.
The SUN Movement co-organised three events as part of the official Conference programme, including two Concurrent Sessions looking at nutrition solutions, in addition to a breakfast side event, which brought together ‘unusual suspects’, including Canadian chef and food blogger Aimée Wimbush-Bourque.
Attended by more than 8,500 world leaders, changemakers, influencers, advocates, academics, activists, and journalists, from more than 150 countries, #WD2019 proved essential to share new knowledge, promote world-class solutions, and engage a broad spectrum of voices, also from across the SUN Movement. The SUN Civil Society Network’s Youth Nutrition Leaders were in attendance, as was the SUN Government Focal Point from Kenya, Gladys Mugambi and SUN Civil Society Network Steering Group Member, Dr. Irshad Danish. Lawrence Haddad and Lauren Landis – both Executive Committee members also took part in this key conference, with a far-reaching mandate.
It focused on several issues – key to the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women, everywhere – ranging from health, nutrition, education, to human rights, good governance, and girls’ and women’s agency.
Thank you @WomenDeliver @Katja_Iversen for giving so much space to discuss nutrition at #WD2019 – malnutrition worldwide affects women and girls the hardest. Check the WD app for more nutrition events! Cc @GerdaVerburg @l_haddad pic.twitter.com/iLgDwAX6ga
— Jonathan Tench (@jonnytench) June 4, 2019
SUN Movement Coordinator and UN Assistant Secretary General, Gerda Verburg, took part in a range of important events during this week, to help shed light on the importance of nutrition to equality – and vice versa – but also to share the SUN Movement approach. When explaining the perfect recipe for partnerships, she argued that “SUN works at the country level, and globally, by asking partners to leave their egos and logos at the door”.
“To step into your power and use your talent can get you far,” she also stressed. “That’s why I am so inspired here at #WD2019. Stand up and step into your power,” she urged all participants in a plenary discussion on the power of integration and scale, alongside UNICEF Executive Director and Chair of the SUN Lead Group, Henrietta F. Fore, CEO of the World Bank, Kristalina Georgieva, and CEO of UNILEVER, Alan Jope, to name a few.
This important conference also proved key to disseminate the recently launched SUN Movement call to action to scale up gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, created under the auspices of the SUN Movement Lead Group, in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, Save the Children and Nutrition International.
The question from @GerdaVerburg – what can we do to convince governments? Good food is the enabler of education. What is your message? @joy_phumaphi : “you are killing your own people.” Countries can’t be developed without healthy people. – #SDG2 #wd2019 #FoodiesthatGiveaFork pic.twitter.com/jCZGCGJOOk
— SafelyFed Canada (@safelyfedcanada) June 4, 2019
Wise and inspiring counsel from @GerdaVerburg women should not be scared of stepping into our power. We should own it and make it available as empowerment to others. Most importantly we need to empower from the bottom up! #WD2019 #WomenDeliver2019 pic.twitter.com/XL1seVPpMO
— shereen bhan (@ShereenBhan_GH) June 5, 2019