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Find Us at Women Deliver 2023

We are getting ready for Women Deliver 2023, taking place in Kigali, Rwanda from July 17–20!  

With sexual and reproductive health and rights at the core, Women Deliver is a communication and advocacy forum to advocate for gender equality. If you’re going to be on the ground in Kigali, we’d love to connect with you in person! Come see us at the Square area, at booth #41; and join us at: Stories for Change, Addressing the Multiple Burden of Youth and Gender and our side events.

In line with the conference’s objective of enabling inclusive and co-created spaces that foster solidarity for sustainable solutions on gender equality, we will host two events. Our storytelling side-event will highlight the nexus of gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights. The concurrent session will focus on adolescents and youth, particularly the intersection of gender and reproductive health and rights.  

We are looking forward to meeting our colleagues, partners, and friends. 

Stories for Change: How Champions Are Making Progress Toward Gender-Based Violence and Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration   

Date: Wednesday, July 19 | Time: 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM CAT 
Where: Kigali Convention Center, Room AD12.2 
Language(s): Conducted in English, with French interpretation available 

Gender-based violence (GBV) champions will tell stories to inspire and catalyze participants to advance the integration between GBV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in their countries and communities. We aim to inspire advocates to leverage the power of storytelling in contexts where quantitative data may be hard to come by and/or is unreliable. Participants will leave with practical tools for using the power of stories to improve GBV-SRHR integration.   

Featured Speakers

Welcome: Ms. Lydia Saloucou, Pathfinder President for Africa 
Opening Remarks:  Chris Carter, Deputy Director, Head of Human Development Department, FCDO, UK 
Moderator: Rebecca Herman, Sr. Technical Advisor, GBV & MNH, Pathfinder  

  • Dr. Meseret Zelalem, Lead Executive Officer, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Ethiopia Ministry of Health 
  • Shehla Qureshi, Assistant Inspector General, Pakistan Police
  • Lilian Sospeter, Youth Engagement Officer, Voluntary Service Oversea
  • Fikira Harriet, Safeguarding/SGBV Officer, The Rescue Initiative-South Sudan (TRI-SS)   

Addressing the Multiple Burden of Youth and Gender: Intersectional Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

When: Wednesday, July 19 | Time: 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM CAT  
Where: Kigali Convention Center, Room MH2.1 
Language: English  

The session aims to showcase the thought leadership of youth-led organizations from Africa and Southeast Asia. Pathfinder will bring together a panel of youth-led organizations, including Leap Africa, Youth Café, SERAC-Bangladesh, and PINK Center, to co-lead the session. The objective is to shed light on the multiple burdens faced by young people and the impact of gender on them, with a particular emphasis on the critical role of youth leaders and youth-led organizations in addressing these challenges. Interactive engagement with gender-transformative AYSRHR tools and activities and a call to action from youth leaders are among the planned learning modalities.  

Featured Speakers

Moderator: Sharon Adero, Communications Officer, Pathfinder, Uganda

  • Tasnia Ahmed, Program Manager, SERAC, Bangladesh
  • Kehinde Ayeni, Executive Director, LEAP Africa, Nigeria
  • Saro Imran, Founder, PINK Center, Pakistan
  • Faith Nyanjui, Communications Officer, The Youth Café, Kenya

More Events at #WD2023

Gender and the Climate Crisis (Pre-Conference Session)

When: Saturday, July 16 | Time: 2:10 PM – 2:50 PM CAT  
Where: Ubumwe Grande Hotel  

The session will cover issues around gender, climate and SRHR, disasters, loss and damage. Climate change is the foremost crisis of the 21st century, with devastating environmental, economic, and social impacts. It affects everyone, but the impacts are unequal and the burden of climate change falls to those who have least contributed to it, particularly girls and women. Climate justice is not possible without systems change. This Pre-Conference will bring together diverse climate actors who prioritize gender equality and take a climate justice, gender justice, intersectional, and human rights-based approach. It will be moderated by Angela Baschieri from UNFPA and the panel will be composed of four panelists. Following the panel, there will be time to break into smaller groups to enable a more in-depth discussion. Pathfinder’s Sharmin Sultana will participate on the panel.

Demanding Reproductive Justice and Rights: Responses to the Climate Crisis

When: Tuesday, July 18 | Time: 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM CAT  
Where: MH4.2

The climate crisis threatens all aspects of human life and health. Yet the impacts on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are rarely considered, and the important role of SRHR in climate resilience and adaptation is rarely integrated into climate action. Through diverse storytelling and presentations by members of the SRHR & Climate Justice Coalition, this session will illustrate why bodily autonomy is climate resilience. Participants will leave equipped with a Messaging Guide and concrete actions that they can take to advance climate justice by centering reproductive justice, human rights, bodily autonomy and intersectionality. Pathfinder’s Ruth Ngechu will moderate the panel.

Championing Gender Equality for Demographic Dividend(s) 

When: Tuesday, July 18 | Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM CAT  
Where: Ubumwe Grande Hotel – Ikaze Room 

This side event is co-hosted by UNFPA, AU, and Government of Germany. One of the main objectives of the side event is looking at the interlinkages between gender equality and demographic change as well as other relevant topics such as food security, nutrition, urbanization, climate resilience, education, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Pathfinder’s Joseph Komwihangiro will participate on the panel. REGISTER >>

Meet the Pathfinder Delegation

Lydia Saloucou | @LSaloucou 
President, Africa
Burkina Faso

Lydia Saloucou Zoungrana was selected as Pathfinder’s President, Africa, in April 2023. Based in Ouagadougou, she will lead the program portfolio in sub-Saharan Africa, collaborating closely with country directors across the continent. Prior to this appointment, Lydia served as Pathfinder’s country director in Burkina Faso since 2016.

Joseph Komwihangiro | @DrKomwihangiro
Country Director

A medical doctor with more than 15 years of experience leading and managing donor-funded health programs in Tanzania, Dr. Joseph Komwihangiro combines his technical experience with his passion for helping women and young people.

Ruth Ngechu | @ngechu_ruth 
Global Engagement Director

Senior leader in public health with 20 years of experience in initiating and cementing strategic partnerships with non-profit organizations, multilateral partners (including USAID, WHO, and UNICEF), and national and regional governments.

Sharon Adero
Communications Officer 

With over five years of experience in communications work for development projects, Sharon has a deep understanding and passion for storytelling. Sharon has executed innovative communication strategies that have elevated the visibility of Pathfinder’s USAID/ Uganda Family Planning Activity (FPA) in Uganda and beyond. Previously, Sharon worked with Chemonics International Inc. under the Feed the Future Uganda Youth Leadership Agriculture Activity as a Communications Assistant. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communication from Makerere University. 

Emily Bartels-Bland
Digital & Media Relations Officer 
United States 

With 10 years of experience, including at the World Bank, the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), and Chemonics International, Emily Bartels-Bland has been at Pathfinder since 2021. Emily specializes in strategic communication for international development and views development in all sectors through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. At Pathfinder, she leads the organization social media platforms. Emily is originally from Germany, and has a BA in Strategic Communications and an MA in International Development focused on gender and health.

Joana Cunaca
Senior Advisor on Youth & Adolescent SSR 

Ms. Cunaca has more than 10 years of professional experience working with gender, prevention and mitigation of gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV both with government and NGOs (NIH, national institute of statistics, FHI360). Joana has a BA in Anthropology and joined Pathfinder in 2022.

Rebecca Herman  
Senior Technical Advisor, GBV & MNH 
United States  

Ms. Herman is a midwife and GBV/SRH trainer with more than 15 years of experience.  She is a trainer for health sector response to violence against women, and has clinical specialization in provision of perinatal care to survivors of sexual violence. Ms. Herman joined Pathfinder in 2012 and maintains clinical practice in her home community. 


Worknesh Kereta | @wkereta
Senior AYHD Technical Advisor 

A public health professional with over 40 years of experience in Adolescent and youth program management, service delivery, education, and training.  has been working closely with the public sector to further improve the health, and life skills of adolescents and youth in the country. Worked at  Pathfinder for the last over 17 years as an adolescent and youth health focusing on integrating Youth friendly Health services within public health Facilities.

Maria Manjate 
Youth Technical Advisor 

With Pathfinder since 2022, Maria Amelia has worked as a SRHR program coordinator in Mozambique since 2015. In her career, she has focused on AYSHRH advocacy and project management. She has been FP2030 Youth Focal Point for Mozambique since 2018.  

Erica Mills 
United States 

A public health professional with 10 years of experience, Erica joined Pathfinder in 2018 filling both program management and technical roles, first with the Evidence to Action project and currently with MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience, focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights, adolescents and youth, gender-transformative programming, and climate resilience.

Sharmin Sultana 
Technical Director/FP Specialist, Shukhi Jibon 

With almost 25 years of experience in family planning, reproductive health, and health systems strengthening, Dr. Sultana has worked in senior-level positions in different national and international organizations in Bangladesh. Dr. Sultana is a medical doctor. She joined Pathfinder Bangladesh in 2022. She has been providing technical and strategic leadership for improving family planning services. 


Ashley Wolfington | @AshleyWolfingto
Deputy Project Director, FP/RH 
United States 

A public health leader with 15 years of experience working to improve access to sexual and reproductive health for people affected by crises. With PROPEL Adapt, Ms. Wolfington works on efforts to ensure that family planning and reproductive health care are integrated into health systems resilience efforts and preparedness policy and advocacy.

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