From the press release: On Wednesday night, 300 leading women from the worlds of politics, entertainment, business, fashion and media, were hosted by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Wendi Murdoch and Indra Nooyi at the 4th Important Dinner for Women at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York.
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Sarah Brown, wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, gave an impassioned keynote speech to the assembled women, who included Diane von Furstenburg, Ali Hewson, Svetlana Medvedeva, Nicole Kidman, Christy Turlington, Tyra Banks, Tina Brown, Elle Macpherson, Katie Lee Joel, Shania Twain, and Martha Stewart. Read more below.
The first of these Important Dinners was held in at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2008 to discuss the UN Millennium Development Goals and became the most talked about event at the Forum that year (partly due to Bono, Rupert Murdoch, Sergey Brin and Larry Page serving the drinks and pudding)!
Every attendee signed a pledge to aid the Maternal Mortality Campaign* in some way - an Important Women's Dinner convention which, over the last 18 months, has produced growing impact - as massively increased media attention, in parallel with public affairs advocacy, and efforts to secure relevant funding have successfully pushed the topic of Maternal Mortality higher up the political and international developmental agenda.
So that after many years of no progress on this Millennium Development Goa, at the recent G8 meeting in Italy the leaders agreed to a five-point checklist of policies and interventions on maternal, newborn and child health which, if implemented, has the potential to save 6 million lives by 2015. The 4th Important Dinner for women aims to keep the pressure on them to deliver.
But delivering this goal remains painfully slow. According to the World Health Organisation a woman dies every minute during pregnancy or childbirth. At the current rate of progress, the goal will not be achieved in Asia till 2076 and in Africa to many years later.
*Millennium Development Goal 5 aims to reduce maternal mortality by 75% by 2015.