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Rutgers at Women Deliver 2019

Women Deliver is the world's largest conference on gender equality and the rights, health and wellbeing of women and girls. From June 3rd to June 6th, the Women Deliver Global Conference will take place in Vancouver, Canada. Rutgers will lead a number of side events, as well as host a booth showcasing our advocacy, implementation and research work from across the globe.

Tuesday June 4th 2019: Measure Please

The SRHR Alliances part of our flagship programme, Get Up Speak Out organised a side event on the pleasure aspect of sex. During this event a joint call to action was launched. With this call, the partnering organisations call on all to include pleasure in their SRHR programmes. Sign the petition here if you agree.



Tuesday June 4th 2019: Rutgers in the Women Deliver Film Festival

Alongside the main conference programme, there is a film festival at Women Deliver showing short film related to gender equality and women’s rights. Three animations, produced by Rutgers, are in this programme. You can watch the animations about our programmes Prevention+ and GUSO here and here. Or learn more about our unique Whole School Approach here.

Tuesday June 4th  2019: The Power of Very Young Adolescents

On the second day of the main conference programme, Rutgers joined the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a number of funders for a session on very young adolescents. This group has often been overlook in programming, despite evidence pointing to the importance of early interventions. The session went beyond the ‘why’ of involving young adolescents, and focused instead on the ‘how’.

Nana Jannah from Rutgers WPF Indonesia explained to the audience how Rutgers’ Explore4Action programme engages young people as co-researchers. She said: “We need young people in all stages of programming. They give us insights as they are insiders. Young people really want to be part of this procress. Explore4Actions puts them front and centre.”

Monday June 3rd 2019: Come to Bed with Us! The Booth is Open

After the opening ceremony of Women Deliver 2019, Rutgers' booth was also officially opened. Sexual freedom is at the heart of all our work, so booth visitors are asked to "come to bed with us" and say what this subject means to them. Under the hashtag #MySexDream you can see the array of responses from all over the world. 



Monday June 3rd 2019: Power Dynamics in Tackling Child Marriage

Young advocates also took centre stage at another breakfast session co-hosted by Rutgers on Monday morning. They shared experiences from Ethiopia, Mozambique and Indonesia. Rutgers Indonesia’s Kia, a young co-research from our Explore4Action programme, explained the work she does. By researching her peers, she helps understand what factors contribute to child marriages. For example, she found a lot of young adolescents felt uncomfortable talking about marriage with their parents.

Monday June 3rd 2019: Challenging Power Relations to Prevent GBV

Women Deliver opens Monday afternoon, but for Rutgers the day began much earlier, with two breakfast sessions. The first was hosted by our Prevention+ programme and focused on gender transformative approaches in the prevention of gender-based violence. Opening the event, Rutgers Executive Director Ton Coenen said: “The Prevention+ programme is at the heart of Women Deliver’s theme, power. Talking about men and gender transformative approaches, and changing gender norms, has everything to do with power.”

During this event, Rutgers’ new toolkit on gender-transformative advocacy was launched. Rutgers advocate, Ilze Smit explained its content, while GTA Master Trainer, Sherifa Awudu from Ghana got the event participants to think about gender norms with an exercise from the toolkit. This module is available to download here.

Sunday June 2nd 2019: Stories of Youth Leadership

In the afternoon, it was time to hear real stories of young people challenging power dynamics, during the Right Here Right Now storytelling event. Inclusivity is a core principle of this strategic partnership, and the event had a panel made up exclusively of young people.

National Coordinator, Solange from Senegal talked about her journey as a young leader. “There were two issues for me, being young and being a woman. With time and experience, I realised being a young woman was not a limit for doing this kind of job.” She also talked about the benefits of platform building: “RHRN made us understand that we need to work together in order to get results. We let decision makers know it not just one organisation, but ten CSOs working together.”

Dennis Glasgow from Guyana explained how he became a passionate advocate for comprehensive sexuality education at a young age. “As a 14-year-old I realised I was able to impact other people’s lives. Young people need to be the designers of their own programming.”

Sunday June 2nd 2019: Smart Tactics for Advocacy

Women Deliver started for Rutgers with an interactive morning session on smart tactics in advocating for SRHR. The session was co-moderated by Naisola Likimani, Lead of the SheDecides Support Unit and Ton Coenen, Rutgers’ ED.

Three advocates shared examples of backlash they faced. Fita Rizki Utami of One Vision Alliance in Indonesia talked about the situation of LGBTI people in her country and Ali Kavira, founder of the Youth Equality Centre, focused on the ban on comprehensive sexuality education in Uganda. Reproductive Health Network Kenya’s Nelly Munyasia shared a pitch on access to safe abortion. On the opposition they faced, she said: “We came together and worked together. We are no longer going to be reactive, but proactive. We still struggle with opposition, but it has not deterred us to fight for what we believe is a right.”

Concluding, it was remarked that “different approaches work in different contexts.” The opposition has many forms and faces and changes over time. Strategies need to be adapted accordingly.

Come get in bed with Rutgers at Women Deliver 2019

Rutgers is attending Women Deliver 2019 in Vancouver to showcase our work comprehensive sexuality education, access to contraception and safe abortion, and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence from around the world. What does sexual freedom mean to you? Come by our booth (266+271) at Women Deliver to share your vision. Click here for an overview of all side events Rutgers will be (co-) hosting at Women Deliver.