A High Level Digital Summit: Women in Global Health Security

September 17, 2020

Achieving Gender-Responsive Global Health

The COVID-19 crisis has been a stark reminder that global health is a fundamental security concern. The pandemic has exposed deep inequalities in health and social systems at global and national levels, including gender inequities, weakening our collective ability to tackle COVID-19 and generate improved health outcomes into the future. It is clear that the commitment made by governments to deliver Universal Health Coverage by 2030 is an essential prerequisite for global health security. Many lives will be lost to COVID-19 because gender disparities in the health workforce and wider society weaken our response. We can take steps now to build back better and bring the important conversation about equality and health into the international security arena.

Foreign Policy, in partnership with Women in Global Health and the Wagner Foundation, hosted a high-level digital summit coinciding with the 2020 UN General Assembly to illuminate the need for gender-transformative policy within global health security. Gender responsive policies, which challenge fundamental inequities, will strengthen global recovery from COVID-19 and support a “gender triple-dividend” — achieving gender and social equality, improved health and wellbeing, and inclusive economic growth.

Watch to hear from leading global experts and pioneering leaders who have committed to gender strategies and have spearheaded integration of health into broader policy frameworks.




In Partnership with

President Sahle-Work Zewde
President of Ethiopia
Prior her appointment as president, Zewde served in the Ethiopian Ministry of Education in the Public Relations ...
Ravi Agrawal
Ravi Agrawal is the managing editor of Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade, including his most recent position as the network’s N...
ravi agrawal
Anita Bhatia
Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships, UN Women
Prior to serving as Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management at UN Women, Ms. Bhatia has had a distinguished career at the World Bank Group. She brings extensive experi...
Anita Bhatia
James Chau
WHO Goodwill Ambassador
James Chau currently serves as a World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador for Sustainable Development Goals and Health. He has pre...
Chau_Tiffany & Co
Roopa Dhatt, MD
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Women in Global Health
Dr Roopa Dhatt is a passionate advocate for gender equality in global health and a leading voice in the
movement to correct the gender imbalance in global health leadershi...
Women in Global Health WEB 20190426-7295
H.E. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés
Former President of the United Nations General Assembly
María Fernanda was an advisor on biodiversity and indigenous peoples’ policy and later regiona...
H.E. Maria Fernanda Espinosa
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO Director-General
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. He is the...
Anuradha Gupta
Deputy CEO, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
Since joining Gavi in 2015, Anuradha has led efforts to put equity and gender at the centre of Gavi’s program planning and to tailor support to countries within Gavi’s strat...
Ilona Kickbusch
Founder and Chair of the Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Professor Kickbusch is a member of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board and the WHO High-Level Independent Commission on NCDS and is co-chair of UHC 2030. She acts as Counci...
Laura Petrella
Head of the Planning, Economy, and Finance Section, Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division, UN-Habitat
Laura Petrella is the Leader of the City Planning, Extension and Design Unit at UN-Habitat since 2012. She is also OIC of the Urban Planning and Design Branch. She is an archite...
Ambassador Päivi Sillanaukee, MD, PhD, eMBA
Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing, Finland
Päivi Sillanaukee (MD, PhD, eMBA) is the thematic Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland as part of a pilot program of cross-sectora...
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove
COVID-19 Technical Lead, WHO
Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD is an infectious disease epidemiologist who specializes in outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Dr Van Kerkhove com...
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove
Dr. Monique Vledder
Practice Manager, the Global Financing Facility, The World Bank
Dr. Vledder’s expertise in maternal and child health, health financing and health systems strengthening was built over twenty years of in country experience with a focus on so...
Charlotte Wagner
Founder and CEO, Wagner Foundation
Charlotte Wagner is the Founder and CEO of Wagner Foundation, a Boston-based foundation whose mission is to build just and robust community througho...
9:00 AM
Ravi Agrawal, Managing Editor, Foreign Policy
Roopa Dhatt, MD, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Women in Global Health
Charlotte Wagner, Founder and CEO, Wagner Foundation
9:10 AM
Fireside Chat
Keynote: President Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia
Moderator: Ravi Agrawal, Managing Editor, Foreign Policy
9:30 AM
Panel 1: Achieving Global Health Security through Gender Equality
H.E. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Former President of the United Nations General Assembly
Ambassador Päivi Sillanaukee, Ambassador for Health and Wellbeing, Finland
Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead, WHO
Moderator: James Chau, WHO Goodwill Ambassador
Message from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Watch a brief message from Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, recorded for today's summit.

10:05 AM
Fireside Chat 2
Keynote: Anita Bhatia, Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships, UN Women
Moderator: Ravi Agrawal, Managing Editor, Foreign Policy
10:25 AM
Panel 2: Build Back Better: Gender Responsive Health Systems
Anuradha Gupta, Deputy CEO, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
Laura Petrella, Head of the Planning, Economy, and Finance Section, Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division UN-Habitat
Dr. Monique Vledder, Practice Manager, The Global Financing Facility, The World Bank
Moderator: Ilona Kickbusch, Founder and Chair of The Global Health Centre, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
11:00 AM
11:15 AM
Breakout Session: Women Leading on the Frontlines in Pandemics

Moderator: Dr.  Vanessa Kerry - CEO, Seed Global Health

Honorable Minister Dr. Magda Robalo - High Commissioner for COVID-19 in the Office of the President, Guinea-Bissau

Ambassador Stéphanie Seydoux - Ambassador of Global Health, France

Ambassador Nora Kronig - Ambassador of Global Health, Switzerland

Savior Flomo Mendin - County Manager for Grand Bassa County, Last Mile Health

Dr. Tsion Firew - Doctor of Emergency Medicine, Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, and Assistant Professor at Columbia

Breakout Session: Women Researching and Innovating in Health Security

Moderator: Dr. Tana Wuliji - Technical Officer, Health Workforce, World Health Organization

Dr. Samira Asma - Assistant Director-General, Data, Analytics, and Delivery, World Health Organization

Dr. Catharina Boehme - CEO, The Foundation For Innovative New Diagnostics

Professor Monica Lakhanpaul - University College London Vice Provost for South Asia, Professor of Integrated Child Health and Consultant Pediatrician

Dr. Rodica Comendant - Coordinator, Reproductive Health Training Center

Professor Gagandeep Kang - Professor of Microbiology, Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College

Breakout Session: Women Leading Across Borders

Moderator: Kate Dodson - Vice President for Global Health, United Nations Foundation

Opening remarks: Winnie Byanyima - Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, UNAIDS

Dr. Princess Nothemba Simelela - Assistant Director-General, Special Advisor to the Director-General: Strategic Priorities, Office of the Director-General, World Health Organization

Monica Ferro - Director of United Nations Population Fund

Dr. Rana Ahmad Hajjeh El-Kebbi - Director, Program Management, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean

Flor Franciscon - Midwife and Board member of the International Confederation of Midwives

Françoise Vanni - Head of External Relations and Communications, Global Fund

Breakout Session: Addressing Gender Disparities within the Response to COVID-19: Evidence From Emerging Research

Moderator: Dr. Rosemary Morgan - Assistant Scientist, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University

Opening remarks:  Dr. Clare Wenham - Assistant Professor of Global Health Policy at the London School of Economics

Dr. Denise Nacif Pimenta - Researcher, Institute Rene Rachou

Dr. Sabina Rashid - Dean and Professor, BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health University

Anne Ngunijiri - Senior Technical Advisor, GBV, LVCT Health

Dr. Germaine Furaha - Director of the Centre of Excellence Denis Mukwege, Universite Evangelique en Afrique

12:00 PM
Networking Session: Movements and Their Allies: How Donors Can Support Grassroots Change in Health

Click here to join this session.
This link will open a Zoom webinar.

Moderator: Sarah Hillware - Deputy Director, Women in Global Health

Charlotte Wagner - CEO and Founder, Wagner Foundation

Her Excellency Toyin Ojora Saraki - President and Founder, Wellbeing Africa Foundation

John Green - Author and Co-founder of Complexly

Tikhala Itaye - Chairperson, SheDecides and Co-founder HeR Liberty

Leila Hessini - Vice President for Programs, Global Fund for Women


Networking Session: Artists, Activism, and Advocacy in Global Health Security

Click here to join this session.
This link will open a Zoom webinar.

Moderator: Dr. Kealoha Fox - AlohaCare, Asia-Pacific Leader, Obama Foundation

Lisa Russell - Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker and Advocate

Ayanda MaKayi - Actor and Advocate for Gender Equality

Helena Vizcaino - Creative in Social Innovation

Lilly Khorsand - Global health Practitioner, Creative Illustrator, and Gender and Health Equity Advocate

For more information, contact Diana Marrero, Senior Vice President of Strategic Development.