Today is a great day to take stock of blessings. March 8th is International Women's Day. Around the world it's a day to cheer the economic, political and social achievements of women. As the mother of two girls this day is especially meaningful and I am proud to live in a country where opportunity abounds. This is why I support the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) and why they are the featured non-profit this month on the Momtrends gives back program.
I am a proud volunteer and supporter of the IWHC--a passionate group of visionaries and leaders working with hundreds of partners worldwide to secure every woman'??s right to a just and healthy life. IWHC is funded by private foundations, UN agencies, European governments, individuals and corporations--no U.S. government money
Why the IWHC? They don't impose America's will on other countries. Instead they find best practices and leaders already on the ground in third world countries and make them stronger. They aim to empower local leaders and help them build and sustain their organizations.
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Millions of women and girls worldwide suffer and die unnecessarily due to discrimination, sexual coercion, violence and lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services and information. These human rights violations and denial of essential health services are devastating to women, girls, men, communities and societies. As a mother, I am pained to think that girls are forced into marriage at age 10, sold into sexual slavery or otherwise sentenced to horrible futures.
Today I will hug my girls a little tighter and count my blessing that they were born into a land of freedom. I encourage you to take a moment and talk to your girls about the global situation. If you need ideas of where to start, visit IWHC.org. Make your voice heard and help protect the future of every girl.
And if you know a young leader, consider sharing the details about the Young Visionaries Contest. This contest encourages youth to share their visions for young people and the future. Until March 25, 2010 youth between the ages of 18 and 30 can share their visions for a just and healthy life, and get a chance to win a $1000 grant from the International Women'??s Health Coalition to fund a project that works toward this vision.