Global Health Week events mark 30th anniversary of landmark Cairo conference

Illustration of multi-cultural people in a crowd

April 18, 2024 — The Department of Global Health and Population (GHP) at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is presenting Global Health Week from April 22 to 26. The event will mark the 30th anniversary of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt. At the conference, delegates developed a Programme of Action emphasizing that the protection of individual human rights—including gender equity and reproductive health and rights—must be at the heart of population and development programs. During Global Health Week, experts will analyze the ICPD agenda’s progress and setbacks, discuss current and future priorities in global health, and explore topics not addressed in Cairo, such as climate change and LGBTQIA+ issues.

“Thirty years ago, delegates from 179 countries met for a landmark conference that reshaped population and development policy discussions. Our Global Health Week symposium is a great opportunity to hear from scholars who were at the 1994 conference and who have been working on Cairo’s Programme of Action ever since,” said Marcia Castro, chair of the Department of Global Health and Population and Andelot Professor of Demography,

Visit the Global Health Week website for more information and registration links for each event.

Schedule of events

  • Faculty Debate: “Resolved: High quality evidence about what works is the most important gap in maternal health policymaking”
    Monday, April 22 / 1–2 pm / Building 1, Room 1208 and Zoom
    Speakers: Kevin Croke and Margaret McConnell
  • Shifting global health paradigms and effective advocacy: Feminists making the impossible possible in Cairo
    Tuesday, April 23 / 1–2 pm / Zoom
    Carmen Barroso, participant in the 1994 ICPD and former director of the Western Hemisphere Region of International Planned Parenthood Federation, and Kelly Blanchard, president of Ibis Reproductive Health, discuss shifting population and global health paradigms and the impact of advocacy and civil society engagement.
  • “The Janes” movie screening and discussion
    Wednesday, April 24 / 5–8 pm / Building 1, Room 1208
    Hosted by Jaqueline Bhabha
  • “I was obligated to accept”: Coercion and autonomy in global family planning programs 30 years after Cairo
    Thursday, April 25 / 1–2 pm / Zoom
    Brown Bag Seminar presented by public health researcher and feminist social demographer Leigh Senderowicz
  • Global Health Week symposium and poster day
    Friday, April 26 / 1:30–5 pm with reception / Joseph B. Martin Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston
    Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), will present the keynote address and panelists will discuss the Cairo conference and beyond.

— Kimberly Ploeg and Jessica Majano

Illustration: iStock / Angelina Bambina