WLGH Conference 2020

Day 2 Agenda


OCTOBER 14, 2020

12:00pm-12:40pm UTC – Opening and Fireside Chat

Opening remarks by Zain Verjee, Founder & CEO, Zain Verjee Group

Health and development is in the midst of a global reckoning, and African women are at the center of the push for change. In this conversation, hear how two women are challenging the power dynamics that have defined the field for so long, and where we can go from here.

A conversation between:

  • Senait Fisseha, Director of Global Programs, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation
  • Rumbidzai Chisenga, Director of Leadership Programs, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development
12:45pm-1:40pm UTC – Breakout Sessions

African organizations have made notable progress on diversity and inclusion, resulting in more women becoming CEOs, joining boards and in high-level government positions. Yet, women’s prospects in the workplace are far from equal to men’s, and women’s increased power may not always equal increased influence in decision making. This session will draw on experiences in the private sector, media and health community to explore steps African organizations must take for a new workplace normal grounded in equality.

  • Ayoade Alakija, Former Chief Humanitarian Coordinator, Nigeria
  • Joan Benson, Executive Director, Public Health Partnerships, Global Vaccines Public Policy, MSD
  • Sazini Mojapelo, Managing Executive, Corporate Citizenship, Absa Group
  • Kiki Mordi, Journalist & Filmmaker
  • Moderated by Joannie Bewa, Family Medicine Physician & Research Associate, University of South Florida College of Public Health; Board Chair, Women in Global Health

There is growing attention to the role that technology can play in improving access to health care and driving social inclusion in Africa – but to benefit women, these technologies must be designed for and by them. This session will engage African women leading cutting-edge innovations, to discuss how technology can transform lives across the continent.

Despite their critical role in Africa’s health and development, women remain significantly underrepresented in the continent’s leading scientific institutions. This session will explore barriers that women face to entering and staying within the scientific field, incentives for young women to pursue a scientific career, and the importance of scientific innovations for and by women.

  • Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director CAPRISA & Professor in Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University
  • Tom Kariuki, Director of Programmes/AESA Platform, The African Academy of Sciences
  • Catherine Kyobutungi, Executive Director, African Population & Health Research Center (APHRC)
  • Yumna Moosa, PhD Student, KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP)
  • Moderated by Alex Coutinho, Chair of the Board, International Partnership for Microbicides

Taboos around key issues including sexuality, menstruation and female genital mutilation/cutting continue to hinder progress toward gender equality and health goals. This session will engage leading activists and media personalities on how they have helped bring these “unmentionable” subjects into the light, and why continuing to do so is imperative to advancing and reaching more women in global health.

Great ideas come from many sources: working in the field and clinic, reading and just experiencing life.  Being able to test those ideas, however, requires raising funds. This session will engage participants in how to operationalize their ideas and present them in a convincing format to funding agencies.

  • Pam Factor-Litvak, Professor of Epidemiology, Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Research Resources at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
1:45pm-2:45pm UTC – Plenary Panel

Women’s health is the foundation for development across Africa, yet women themselves – especially African women – are starkly underrepresented in leadership and decision making across global health institutions on the continent and around the world. Bringing together some of the leading African women in the health space, this panel will examine the critical role that African women must play in shaping the health agenda and what it means to meaningfully center the needs of women and girls in funding, policies and programs.

2:45pm-3:00pm UTC – Closing