Women Deliver 2013 Conference

logoWomen Deliver is a global advocacy organization bringing together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women. The third global conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 28-30, 2013. This year, Women Deliver’s Cinema Corner dedicated three days to film screenings that would run parallel to the various presentations. It’s a Girl was selected to screen on the first day, and the music video for It’s a Girl featuring original music by Omekongo Dibinga screened on the third day.

If you haven’t yet seen the official It’s a Girl music video, you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHE_3vRkpwk

We are honored for both the documentary and music video to be selected for Women Deliver Cinema Corner. However, we are also appalled that Women Deliver invited Indian politician J. S. Kurien, a man implicated in one of India’s highest profile gang-rape/sex trafficking cases of a teenage girl, to speak at their 2013 conference.

A 16-year-old school girl in the town of Suryanelli was kidnapped, held hostage for 40 days, during which she was raped by the 42 men she had been ‘sold’ to. When she was finally found, she was so battered and had lost so much blood the doctors said she wouldn’t make it. Kurien was one of the accused in this case. He was identified by face by the victim but never arrested. To read the full story click here.

Women Deliver faced loads of criticism on the web and an official Causes petition by the 50 Million Missing Campaign was created demanding an apology to the victim.

Women Deliver’s official statement:
“We were unaware that Indian Parliamentarian PJ Kurien is facing allegations of rape. While we cannot comment on the specific allegations, had we known of the controversy, we would not have permitted PJ Kurian to speak at the side event. Addressing violence against women is central to our mission as an organization and one of the focus areas of this global conference.

Our hope is that the several thousand participants in Women Deliver conferences truly advocate women’s rights around the world and that they recognize female gendercide as one of the most pressing women’s rights issue today.