From backlash to feminism to the need for data: quotes from Women Deliver

Reuters News
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Posted: May 19, 2016 5:43 AM

By Belinda Goldsmith and Emma Batha

COPENHAGEN (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Child marriage, maternal mortality, violence against women and the backlash to the term feminism were just some of the issues discussed at Women Deliver, the world's largest women's health and rights conference in a decade that ends on Thursday.

More than 5,500 participants joined royalty, government ministers, policy makers, business leaders, non-government organizations, activists and celebrities to focus on how to improve the lives of girls and women by 2030.

Here are some key quotes from the fourth global Women Deliver conference that ran from May 16-19 in Copenhagen:

DENMARK'S PRINCESS MARY AT THE OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE

- "When we invest in girls and women society as a whole benefits ... This agenda is not a woman's agenda but a united agenda for humanity that involves men, women, girls and boys."

SINGER AND AIDS ACTIVIST ANNIE LENNOX

- "We must keep the word feminism ... we all have a role to play ... Without men it's going to be much more challenging to advance our goals."

MELINDA GATES, CO-CHAIR OF THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION, IN LAUNCHING AN $80 MLN DATA INITIATIVE

- "If advocacy for women and girls is about giving voice to the voiceless - gathering and analyzing data is about making the invisible visible ... We cannot close the gender gap without closing the data gap."

DANISH PRIME MINISTER LARS LOKKE RASMUSSEN AT OPENING

- "Some say growth and prosperity are the best ways to ensure equal gender opportunities. I actually think it's the other way round."

UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BABATUNDE OSOTIMEHIN

- "In countries where education has gone up and you see women in the work place and they are doing things for themselves, you see a rise in gender based violence."

WOMEN DELIVER CHIEF EXECUTIVE KATJA IVERSEN

- "Girls and women carry more than babies. Or water. They carry families. They carry businesses. They carry potential. And when we invest in their health, rights and well-being, it creates a positive ripple effect that lifts up entire countries."

PLAN INTERNATIONAL CEO ANNE-BIRGITTE ALBRECTSEN LAUNCHING THE #CHILDMOTHERS CAMPAIGN

- "The deepest inequalities and the deepest discrimination and the deepest rights abuses for children relate to the girl child."

GRACE MACHEL, FOUNDING MEMBER OF THE ELDERS WITH HUSBAND NELSON MANDELA, LAUNCHING A CAMPAIGN FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE

- "We have women and children dying unnecessarily because there is no primary health care system to take care of their basic rights. Without Universal Health Coverage, we have learned some very hard lessons and this is why we still have high maternal mortality and high child mortality."

WORLD BANK PRESIDENT JIM YONG KIM

- "Sexism, ageism and racism are really bad economic strategies ... if you exclude women your economic growth is going to be less ... At some point we hope that the economic argument, which is just so overwhelming, will force cultures to re-examine themselves."

QUEEN MAXIMA OF THE NETHERLANDS, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL'S SPECIAL ADVOCATE FOR INCLUSIVE FINANCE FOR DEVELOPMENT

- "Do not forget, whatever you do, to engage men ... When we engage men we have much better results ... if we do leave them behind we are not doing us women a favor. Let's work together for the future."

MCKINSEY'S UK MANAGING PARTNER VIVIAN HUNT

- "$12 trillion could be added to the global economy by 2025 if every country just matched the country in their own region that was growing fastest in terms of gender participation ... the amount would be equivalent to adding a U.S. economy, or perhaps a Chinese economy, incremental to GDP."

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