Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Women take Centerstage

Last week, the Americans for the UNFPA held the Gala for the Health and Dignity of Women in New York City. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supports countries in using population data for policies and programs to reduce poverty, improve female healthcare, and eliminate the spread of HIV/AIDS. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was at the event, stressed the need to support UNFPA, stating “today, we understand, even better than our founders did, that the empowerment of women is a fundamental condition if we are to make progress towards the goals for which the United Nations was created.”

Mr. Ban spoke of the fact that many women die during pregnancy and childbirth because of limited sexual and reproductive health; many women become infected with HIV because they do not have power over their bodies; and many women are subjected to violence. Ban cites this as “one of the most systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world.”

He encouraged the Americans for UNFPA to continue support of this increasingly important UN agency. The gala honored four Americans from the media, financial and political fields along with women from Niger, Mongolia and Cambodia for combining passion and entrepreneurship with social responsibility to advance the health and dignity of women. Ted Turner also received a lifetime achievement award for his continual support of UN programs and women’s issues.

Girl power.