Young people deliver at the 3rd Women Deliver Conference
Cecilia Garcia is a young advocate, and a founding member and gender programme director of Espolea, a Mexican nonprofit that works to promote and defend the human rights of young people. Follow the organization online on Twitter and on Facebook.
“If you can’t plan your fertility, you can’t plan your life.”
Jill Sheffield, President, Women Deliver
My dream is to live in world where there are no privileged groups, but where all people’s rights are acknowledged and respected; a world where no woman or child has to die of preventable diseases; no teenager has to undergo an unsafe abortion; and no person is denied access to health services. I wish to be part of a global community that condemns and prevents all forms of gender-based violence.
On May 27th, 2013, 100 young leaders from around the world showed me that my dream could come true. Young people played a central role at this year’s Women Deliver conference. We sat at the table with decision makers and world leaders; we participated in different panels and sessions; we shared the results of our work; and we learned from our peers and fellow advocates. We were part of this conference and not just participants of a parallel event.
One of the core messages of the conference was the importance of investing in girls and women. This means investing in their education; ensuring that their sexual and reproductive rights are respected; providing timely and high-quality health services; fighting stigma and discrimination; preventing gender-based violence; allocating resources to meet all their needs; and committing to improve their lives and to shift the position they have within their communities. When you invest in them, let their voices be heard and their rights exercised, you deliver for women and girls.
The 3rd global conference of Women Deliver, convened in Kuala Lumpur, taught me what it means to be at the forefront of the fight for women’s and girls’ rights. This was the biggest event focused on the health and well-being of girls and women. It served as a reminder that there can be no possible sustainable development without healthy, happy and empowered girls and women. After three days of intense debate, enriching discussions and the launch of several great initiatives, the government leaders, policymakers, healthcare professionals, NGO representatives, corporate leaders, and global media that attended this conference went back home with the satisfaction of knowing that we have advanced our common goal. While we still have a long way to go, we are one step closer to fulfilling our shared dreams.