The Year That Was: Looking Back at Women Deliver in 2023

Women Deliver
6 min readDec 11, 2023
A group women in front of the WD2023 sign in Kigali
WD2023 Conference participants in Kigali. Photo: Women Deliver/ Franck Axel Nyabagabo.

As we wrap up the year, we are taking a moment to reflect on our accomplishments amid what feels like countless global challenges, including the climate crises, ongoing international conflicts, and the ever-growing anti-rights movement. Despite these hurdles, we remain committed to advocating for women and girls worldwide via our collective work and partnerships with the feminist movement. Our biggest achievement in 2023 was the successful convening of the Women Deliver 2023 Conference (WD2023), which brought together thousands of activists, advocates, government representatives, and policymakers in-person in Kigali, Rwanda and online, through the virtual Conference. Even months later, we continue to feel inspired, and we are grateful to all those who shared this electrifying experience with us.

A group of women dancing at WD2023
Conference participants dancing at WD2023. Photo: Women Deliver/ Franck Axel Nyabagabo.

After a period of self-reflection following the Conference, we came together as team to examine what kind of feminist organization we aspire to be and what kind of global issues we wish to tackle moving forward. We remain committed to advocating for the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of girls and women, and we have chosen to sharpen our focus on championing the rights and wellbeing of adolescent girls. Our emphasis includes their access to SRHR via universal health coverage (UHC), addressing the gendered disproportionate effects of the climate crises, and the threat of the growing anti rights movement that severely impacts their bodily autonomy and SRHR. We look forward to advancing our work in 2024 and beyond, but before that, we share with you some of the highlights and achievements of 2023.

2023 Timeline

March: Youth Empowerment and Global Advocacy in Action

Women Deliver hosted a multi-country workshop for Young Leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean, fostering youth advocacy skills and collaboration. Co-created by Women Deliver Young Leaders, the workshop brought together 26 young activists from 9 countries, to build on their capacity to become more effective advocates, encourage more strategic and collaborative advocacy, and strengthen relationships and networks at regional and national levels.

A quote from a Women Deliver Young Leader who attended a workshop for youth activists from Latin America and the Caribbean

Women Deliver actively engaged in the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67), showcasing our commitment to global partnerships. We also supported 7 Young Leaders to attend sessions and advocacy moments during CSW. Women Deliver’s President and CEO, Dr. Maliha Khan, spoke on the panel for a side event, Transforming Economies for Gender Equality in the Digital Age.

On International Women’s Day in March, Dr. Khan wrote an op-ed published by Devex, focusing on decolonizing iNGOs to provide platforms for activists in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to shift power for more equitable gender justice systems and policies.

Images of two blogs shared during and after CSW in 2023

We shared another blog written by Young Leaders, Yasmina Benslimane, Harpreet Kaur Dhillon, Rubby Haji Naif, and Khesavi Ramen, CSW Must Do Better for Young People in All Their Diversity, in response to the effects of tokenism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, and exclusion faced by young people. The blog called for more inclusion of young people, in all their diversities, in global advocacy spaces moving forward.

April: A Call for Universal Health Coverage

We engaged in a robust advocacy campaign on World Health Day, emphasizing gender responsive UHC and showcasing our global partnerships.

Images from the Women Deliver 2023 World Health Day campaign
The Women Deliver 2023 World Health Day campaign.

July: The Women Deliver 2023 Conference (WD2023)

At WD2023, we were proud to work with and experience the impact of co-creation with the feminist movement. We strove to make WD2023 our most inclusive Conference yet, with over 86% of in-person attendees who had not been to a Women Deliver conference before, forming part of our efforts to include traditionally excluded groups into global advocacy spaces.

Some Conference highlights:

Women Deliver 2023 Conference by numbers
W2023 by numbers.

To learn more about WD2023, all the highlights, outcomes, the Pre-Conferences, our sponsors and funders and more, read our WD2023 Post Conference Report.

September: New Beginnings

We shared further details on our new Emerging Leaders for Change Program at the Global Forum for Adolescents, a monumental step in our new approach, focusing on empowering youth.

At United Nations General Assembly (UNGA78), Women Deliver participated in the midpoint milestone of the Generation Equality initiative. The initiative aims to boost investment to advance the health, rights, and wellbeing of all girls and women by 2026.

October: Reflection and Renewed Focus

Women Deliver staff from around the world met to reflect on our organization’s future focus, marking a pivotal moment in aligning our efforts toward improving the lives of adolescent girls globally.

Image of the Women Deliver team at the staff retreat in October 2023
The Women Deliver team during the staff retreat in October 2023.

December: Advocacy for Climate Change

In December, ahead of the start of the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in Dubai, Women Deliver shared a new advocacy guide, Unpacking Climate Insights from WD2023 To Drive COP28 Action. The guide focuses on the intersection of girls and women and the climate crisis, highlighting its impact on gender equality globally.

In collaboration with the Population Council, we issued 2 briefs, a result of a participatory, youth co-led qualitative study to understand how adolescents view and experience the climate crisis in Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Nigeria. In each country, a graduate of the Women Deliver Young Leaders program teamed up with Population Council researchers to talk to adolescents and young people about how climate change is affecting their lives.

Women Deliver COP28 advocacy briefs.

Young people are impacted by the ongoing climate crises. At COP28 some young advocates shared their thoughts on what action needs to be taken. Watch what they had to say here.

While we are grateful for the progress made this year, we remain keenly aware that there are more challenges that lie ahead. With each news cycle, we continue to see how violence, conflict, disasters, lack of political will, and other barriers, including limitations to bodily autonomy and SRHR, severely impact the wellbeing, of women and girls. As an organization we continue to learn and evolve from our past experiences. As we prepare for 2024, we will continue to reflect on our role in the movement and how we work within our organization. However, we remain ever grateful for the support and comradery we share with our partners and we are eagerly looking forward to working with you in 2024!



Women Deliver

Women Deliver an unwavering advocate for girls and women. We believe that when the world invests in girls and women, everybody wins!