The fourth day of the study tour marked the first day of the Women Deliver 2013 conference, which convened more than 4,500 participants from 149 countries to discuss women’s empowerment and the health and well-being of women and girls, with a particular look to the future of the development framework. Delegates attended high level plenaries, concurrent panels, and engaged in a lunch dialogue with Rosmanh Mansor, first lady of Malaysia. The first day’s theme highlighted the investments made in the health, education, empowerment, and rights of girls and women around the world. Delegates learned how healthy girls are more likely to attend school, have safe pregnancies and deliveries, and grow up to have healthy and educated children. They learned that when we invest in women and girls, they survive, and simply put, families, communities, and countries thrive.
The evening concluded with a dinner panel discussing the delivery of maternal, newborn, and child health services in fragile, post conflict states. Panelists presented on the challenges faced, and success achieved, in the delivery of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and reproductive health (RH) services in fragile states, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Delegates left the dinner with a stronger understanding of the political, economic, and health conditions in fragile states, the major barriers to MNCH and RH service delivery, and the roles leadership and governance play in saving the lives of women and children.