I had the incredible opportunity to attend Women Deliver 2023 for the second time, all thanks to the generous support of Millie's Founder, Chelsea Brown. This year's theme "Spaces, Solidarity, and Solutions," was descriptive of the conference, which is renowned for its impact and collaborative spaces, making it an event not to be missed.
My first attendance, in 2019, was made possible through funding from Open Heroines and Open Government Canada, which I will always be grateful for. The experiences and connections I made back then have been pivotal in shaping my journey towards advocating for gender equality and women's rights.
This year, my focus was on exploring feminism and funding from a global context, with a particular interest in understanding the barriers faced by African women leaders. It was a deeply enriching experience to connect with fellow advocates from all corners of the world, and the knowledge I gained was simply invaluable.
Throughout the conference, I attended over 20 sessions, workshops, and panels, soaking in insights about gender and the climate crisis, philanthropy for gender justice, youth empowerment, and so much more. The demand for certain sessions made it challenging to secure a spot, but determination prevailed, and I was able to participate in sessions that truly resonated with my passion and interests.
Despite my anemia acting up, the conference organizers had thoughtfully set up a clinic on-site, ensuring that attendees could prioritize their health and well-being. I am grateful for this thoughtful consideration, which allowed me to fully immerse myself in the event without compromising my health.
In addition to the knowledge gained, I must say that the connections and relationships formed during Women Deliver 2023 are unparalleled. Meeting remarkable individuals like Latanya Mapp Frett and Ritika Dhall in person and receiving their guidance was an absolute honor and a significant highlight of the event.
Women Deliver 2023 is not just a conference; it's a platform that fosters inclusivity and progress. I was thrilled to see unisex bathrooms, which is a positive step towards creating a more gender-inclusive environment. Adjusting to this change was a small price to pay for the sense of unity and acceptance it brought.
One of the most meaningful aspects of this year's Women Deliver conference was reuniting with my dear friend, Andrea, whom I had met during a previous conference in Canada. Navigating this event together strengthened our bond and proved to be immensely beneficial. We held each other accountable, reminded one another of session locations, and even filled in for each other when needed. Throughout the conference, our camaraderie added an extra layer of joy to the entire experience.
As the conference neared its closing, I dedicated the last day to exploring the booths of fellow attendees and sponsors. This provided an excellent opportunity to connect with even more passionate individuals working in the field of gender equality and women's rights. These interactions left me inspired and further fueled my commitment to make a positive impact in this space.
In conclusion, Women Deliver 2023 continues to be a transformative experience that reinforces my commitment to championing gender equality and advancing the rights of women everywhere. The connections made and the knowledge gained have empowered me to take my advocacy to new heights, and I am grateful for this exceptional opportunity and the chance to be part of a global movement striving for positive change.
FORMER MANAGING DIRECTOR OF FEMME INTERNATIONAL
Spring 2023 Recipient Women Deliver Conference