The International Conference of Family Planning has now officially started. This year’s theme is Full Access, Full Choice to family planning, and to kick off the conversation today, the plenary panel discussed the role of women in leadership and empowering young women as leaders to ensure that we meet the goals that we have set up to achieve.

Here is a quick recap of the conversation from this morning’s inspirational panel.

Mrs. Melinda Gates
Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Her Excellency Roman Tesfaye
First Lady of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Professor Marleen Temmerman
Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research and of HRP at the World Health Organisation

Ms. Theo Sowa
Chief Executive Officer of the African Women Development Fund

Ms. Ellen H. Starbird
Director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health at USAID

Ms. Carol S. Larson
President and Chief Executive Officer of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Question & Answer with Theo Sowa

I had the possibility of asking the panel a question during the Press Briefing.

How can we ensure that the voices of the women and girls that we are actually trying to help are heard by leaders and that they act upon that?

This was a part of Theo Sowa’s response:

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