By Caitlin Callahan
Last month, more than 4,500 leaders from over 2,200 different organizations convened in Kuala Lumpur for the third Women Deliver conference – a meeting dedicated to the health and empowerment of women and girls. Panel discussions and plenary events reinforced the importance of investing in girls and women as catalysts for greater positive change within their families and their communities.
And for that reason, the post-2015 agenda, or the next global strategy for international development following the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), was a common framework for debate; ‘calls to action’ were mirrored by sessions to discuss the previous agendas in Cairo, Beijing, and Rio: the successes and the prospects for improvement to empower women and create opportunity for broader growth.
Contextually, the World Bank’s President Dr. Kim recently declared 2030 as the new deadline for eliminating all extreme poverty in the world, setting the universal $1.25/day income mark as the threshold for success. This may seem like an enormous goal, but we’ve seen unprecedented success in the past few decades that helps to inspire some hope. More specifically, in the past 20 years, the global poverty rate has been reduced by a full 50%: from 43% of the population living in extreme poverty in 1990, to 21% in 2010.1 In other words, Dr. Kim wants to replicate the success of the past 20 years in the next (less than) two decades.