2013: The Year for Women?

More than 40 women-led organizations including National Association of Social Workers, International Medical Corps, the Center for Women's Global Leadership, Planet Aid, and Global Fund for Women recently sent a letter to the newly elected 113th Congress. In the letter, these leaders asked that Congress make 2013 an historic one for women worldwide by prioritizing and protecting foreign assistance supporting women's health, well-being, rights and empowerment.

Today, women all around the globe are still disproportionately affected by poverty, poor reproductive health, and limited access to education and employment. How is this still happening in 2013? Simply put, the U.S. government has yet to transform the importance of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights into action through its international policies. These issues, unfortunately, are not being addressed as a whole, but by different offices, agencies, and funding mechanisms with differing priorities.

Women must be equal partners in making laws and in planning development activities. They live a myriad of roles - family caregivers, community activists, and civil society leaders and more importantly, have acute understanding of human needs which are critical for development.

This letter, signed by an impressive list of women leaders from the United Nations Foundation, The Hunger Project, Helen Keller International, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and more, will hopefully light a spark. This year, the ban on women in combat is being lifted and women are officially being recognized for their current and future role in combat. Why not further the momentum to recognize, support and empower women worldwide?

Planet Aid supports many international projects that empower women. From Farmer's Clubs, where membership is 50% women to our microfinance program in India where women are obtaining business loans, we strive for equality and self-determination, and foster cooperation and understanding across genders and people around the world.