Today as the conference concludes, this Network of women are united in their commitment, drive, and willingness to use their power and resources to save the lives of mothers and children and invest in the potential of all of our children. Each pledged to do her part to make it clear that these issues are a top concern of women, and that they should be a top concern of Government leaders, investors, decision and policy makers around the world and that as the Network they will engage Government, grassroots networks, philanthropic and policy institutions in this cause.
Addressing the closing ceremonies, conference co-convener and Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman said, We know from this conference the hope we can bring, the dreams we can salvage, the knowledge we can share, the successful policies and practices we can scale up, the power we can multiply and the wills we can build by uniting our demands for justice for the voiceless through collaborative action steps and a strategic, long term action plan.
Queen Rania Al-Abdullah officially closed the conference by saying, By speaking for those whom the world cannot hear, we will echo their stories in the halls of power and bring about change. By engaging today's young girls and showing them the power they have within, we will help save the next generation of at-risk mothers and babies ... So as you head home, let us remember ...
that to the world, each of us may be just one woman, we may be the world.
Developing the Action Plan
The Conferees also agreed on a key set of recommendations that will be used to develop an action plan. Conference co-conveners agreed that they will meet within 30 - 45 days to fully flesh out the full action plan and a coordinating infrastructure which ensures its effective implementation and the ongoing advice and input of key representatives from each region of the world. It will be housed at the Children's Defense Fund with dedicated staff.
-- Create the urgency for action Ensure that the international community can no longer ignore these issues and mobilize the outrage over the fact that 11 million women and children to die needlessly each year and 100 million children lack education into positive action.
-- Innovation Fund Envisioned as a new kind of fund that will focus on advocacy and effectively harness and utilize the network's human capital, its ability to drive in-kind resources and engage in advocacy to influence and hold leaders, decision makers and investors accountable on these issues. The fund would also be used as a means to effectively focus resources on and showcase best practices and model projects with clear, data- driven assessments of the effectiveness of these projects. Additionally the fund will steer resources towards helping to scale up innovative projects.
-- Identify Target Projects - The Network will target two or three nations to accelerate the rate of progress on our two goals through a range of advocacy, leadership and community capacity building strategies and infrastructure development. Within 90 days, we will select these nations based on a set of criteria which include need, readiness and will for change and the likelihood of success drawing on all available research.
-- Strike Force/Leadership Development Each member of the Network is committed to engaging and activating their individual networks around these issues, and to develop leadership capacity within their networks, especially among younger women. The Network will also seek to amplify the voices of women and others not yet engaged in these issues across all sectors. The Network will also deploy value added resources geographically or when an issue arises that impacts these issues.
-- Accountability The Network will work to ensure accountability among key decision makers, policy makers and investors in Government, Philanthropic and private sectors. They will monitor the commitments from developed nations -- especially the United States -- and holding them accountable for appropriating promised resources, and encouraging monitoring of actions in all nations for measurable results on mothers and children's health and quality education for girls. The Network also pledged to hold one another accountable to achieving their goals.
-- Communications Plan/Develop a Specific Campaign - The Network seeks to employ strategies to galvanize the public, grassroots and the international communities to take action. They will develop and mount a clear, sustained actionable communications and public awareness campaign to make and keep visible the preventable mortality, morbidity and illiteracy of mothers and children around the globe. The Network will also increase the understanding, commitment, passion and sisterhood among prominent women committed to stand for powerless women and children through Maternal and Child Health and Education Watches, annual Interfaith Days of Prayer and other opportunities to celebrate important milestones and mothers and children together globally.
-- Develop a Web site/Knowledge Bank of Best Practices - The Network will establish a Global Women's Action Network for Children interactive website which will provide up-to-date information on best practices, current and relevant research in a user friendly form, and a calendar of important global and national events and conferences and Network activities so that our message and messengers can be dispatched to engage others. The goal in part is to end the redundancies and more effectively target time and resources toward what works, developing and promoting best practices, but also engage in real research to track progress and success.
The Children's Defense Fund will launch the Global Women's Action Network for Children Web site by the end of September.
For additional information regarding the Conference, the Network, speeches or transcripts, please visit http://www.womenactionnetwork.org.
For a full transcript of her Majesty and Marian Wright Edelman's remarks please go to:
For more information and a copy of the schedule of events at the Conference, please contact Erin Davis at the Children's Defense Fund at 212-697-2323 ext.
107 or email EDavis@cdfny.org or Jenny Backus at 202-262-9963 or email@example.com.
PHOTOS AVAILABLE: High-resolution, publication-ready photographs supporting this story are available for free editorial use at http://www.wirepix.com/newsphotos.
Contact: Erin Davis of Children's Defense Fund, 212-697-2323 ext. 107 or Davis@cdfny.org, or Jenny Backus, 202-262-9963 or firstname.lastname@example.org