WomenLift Health Global Conference 2024 Highlights Importance Of Empowering Women

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A cross section of delegates at the ongoing WomenLift Health Global Conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

The WomenLift Health Global Conference 2024 convened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, has re-echoed the need for action for world leaders to prioritise gender equality and foster women’s leadership in global health. 

With the participation of approximately 1000 women and men leaders in the field of global health, the conference served as a vital platform for catalysing transformative leadership, allyship and action to advance gender equity.

Themed “Reimagining Leadership: New Approaches to new Challenges,” the conference sought to address persistent barriers hindering women’s advancement in leadership roles, including male privileging, marginalisation of minority women and disempowering work environments. 

Against the backdrop of the upcoming 30-year review and appraisal of the Beijing Platform for Action in 2025, the conference assumed heightened significance as a critical moment for assessing progress and charting a path forward towards gender parity in leadership.

President of WomenLift Health, Ms. Amie Batson underscored the urgency of achieving gender parity in leadership positions to effectively address global health challenges. She emphasised the pivotal role of women leaders in prioritising the health needs of women, children, and communities, citing evidence that women leaders are more likely to address these priorities.

Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Philip Isdor Mpango lauded the conference theme, emphasising the imperative of inclusive leadership in confronting complex global challenges. He highlighted President Samia Suluhu’s unwavering commitment to gender equality and equity, citing significant appointments of female leaders in key sectors, which have led to improved health outcomes for Tanzanian citizens.

Fireside chat WomenLift
L-R: The panel moderator, Dr. Adanna Chukwuma and panellists, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt. Hon. Helen Clark during the fireside chat at the ongoing WomenLift Health Global Conference in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Echoing Mpango’s sentiments, Health Minister Ummy Ally Mwalimu commended WomenLift Health for selecting Tanzania as the conference host. She emphasised the transformative potential of women’s leadership in driving progress in the health sector and underscored the need for concerted efforts to empower women leaders.

Despite women constituting 90 per cent of frontline health workers globally, they remain underrepresented in senior leadership roles. Various reports have highlighted the slow progress in achieving gender parity in leadership positions, with projections indicating it could take up to 140 years to achieve equal representation.

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt. Hon. Helen Clark, stressed the importance of women’s visibility in decision-making processes, asserting that where women are out of sight, they are out of mind. She emphasised the necessity for concerted, collective action towards gender equity and called for women to be well represented in all spheres of society and decision-making.

Former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete emphasised the critical role of policies and commitment from leadership in promoting gender equality and empowering women in decision-making roles. He shared his experience of prioritising the appointment of women to leadership positions during his tenure as president, highlighting Tanzania’s significant strides in advancing gender equality.

The WomenLift Health Global Conference 2024 aims to propel women’s leadership forward through authentic discussions and partnerships, fostering tangible solutions to promote gender equality in the health sector. WomenLift Health envisions a future where innovative leadership approaches drive meaningful advancements and increased investment in women leadership initiatives. The conference represents a critical step towards realising this vision, creating a strategic community of action to press forward gender equity in the global health landscape.

Racheal Abujah
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