Novo NordiskYesterday, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Ms Ulla Tørnæs handed over a torch to Executive Vice President Lise Kingo, Novo Nordisk, at a ceremony in Copenhagen. With the torch Ms Tørnæs makes a Call to Action to leaders from around the world to help accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goal 3 (MDG3): To empower women and promote gender equality.

"The private sector plays a critical role if we are to improve women's situation. They have the availability to promote women’s opportunities within their field of work. I am therefore glad that Novo Nordisk now has joined our global Call to Action to accelerate progress on gender equality. The company has committed to drive actions that can improve the situation for women living with diabetes in the developing world. This is the kind of action we need from all actors," says Ulla Tørnæs, Danish minister for Development Cooperation.

As torch bearer Novo Nordisk is committed to creating awareness of how diabetes will impede development and women empowerment. This will be supported by actions to effectively overcome this barrier by improved prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Addressing the adverse relationship between the global diabetes epidemic and a healthy, sustainable development is Novo Nordisk's contribution to the achievement of MDG3.

"Women are uniquely affected by diabetes that all over the world results in life-threatening complications. Women have a higher diabetes-related morbidity and mortality due to biological, cultural and socioeconomic factors. If acquired during pregnancy, diabetes causes serious problems for both the mother and the child. Moreover, women are often at a disadvantage getting diagnosed and receiving proper treatment. We simply need to change diabetes for women," says Lise Kingo.

Lise Kingo is a member of the MDG3 Champion Network established by Ms Ulla Tørnæs among other things to bring global attention to MDG3. The network has participation by internationally prominent politicians, public and private sector leaders as well as civil society representatives.

On 24 September, Novo Nordisk co-hosts a Leadership Forum on Women, Diabetes and Development in New York, organised together with the Danish minister for Development Cooperation, The Global Alliance for Women's Health and the World Diabetes Foundation.

About Novo Nordisk
Novo Nordisk is a healthcare company and a world leader in diabetes care. In addition, Novo Nordisk has a leading position within areas such as haemostasis management, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. Novo Nordisk manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services that make a significant difference to patients, the medical profession and society. With headquarters in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 26,300 employees in 80 countries, and markets its products in 179 countries. Novo Nordisk's B shares are listed on the stock exchanges in Copenhagen and London. Its ADRs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'NVO'. For more information, visit