Media Advisory

UNFPA and Global Leaders to Promote Investment in Women and Maternal Health at Historic Women Deliver Conference

1 June 2010
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York  – Ministers, parliamentarians, experts, first ladies, royalty, celebrities, midwives, young leaders and civil society representatives from 140 countries will be meeting in Washington, DC, 7-9 June 2010 for the largest ever conference on maternal and reproductive health.

More than 3,000 people will join the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the Executive Director of UNFPA, Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, and other global leaders at the Women Deliver Conference to promote investment in women and share solutions that can empower girls and reduce maternal deaths and disabilities.

“Investing in women is not only the right thing to do; it is smart economics. No woman should die giving life, and to achieve this we need to focus on reproductive health and the human rights of girls and women,” says Ms. Obaid, who will speak at the opening of the conference.

Women Deliver Conference highlights will include:

  • Focus on Maternal Health: World leaders will speak on recent progress in women's health and the steps still needed to achieve Millennium Development Goal 5, which aims to reduce maternal death by three quarters by 2015 and achieve universal access to reproductive health.
  • The Pill at 50: Public health experts will review the various technologies available to promote women's health, with special focus on contraceptives, particularly The Pill, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2010.
  • A Look at Women's Contributions to Society: People from a wide range of industries and countries will reinforce the reasons why investing in women makes economic sense.

“Women deliver - and not only babies. They deliver enormous social and economic benefits to their families, communities and nations. But they have to be healthy and alive to thrive. That is what we want to get the world to focus on,” says the President of the Women Deliver Initiative, Jill Sheffield.

Helping to do so will be the heads of 5 United Nations agencies, 50 ministers, the former President of Chile, Michele Bachelet, singer Annie Lennox, journalist Christiane Amanpour, philanthropist Melinda Gates, actress Ashley Judd – and many others.

For journalists who are unable to make it to Washington, DC, but would still like to cover the conference, there is a "virtual" registration option. Virtual registrants will receive regular e-mail updates on the conference ahead of time, and then be able to engage in real time through the webcasting, live updates, photos, and daily press releases. The conference media team can also assist journalists directly, including arranging interviews and providing background information on specific topics.

It is still possible to register for the virtual Women Deliver press room.

UNFPA is supporting the Women Deliver conference and will be speaking in and moderating many of the 120 panel sessions. In the weekend leading up to the conference, the Fund will co-host a symposium on Strengthening Midwifery, which will bring together some 200 midwives and others with midwifery skills from around the world, leading UN agencies, civil society, policy makers and donor governments.

For more information, please contact:

Women Deliver media team: Lindsay Crouse,,
+1 646 862 1817

UNFPA media contact: Jessica Malter,, +1 646 732 0047

See also  Women Deliver

And, additional media resources on maternal health