101 Years of Celebrating International Women's Day. Want to make a difference?

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Today is an important day for women around the world. It is a day to celebrate all of the progress that has been made in the terrain of women's issues while also being a day of reflection of what more needs to be done. Today I highlight two organizations getting the word out about women's issues, each trying to make changes in the lives of women, each looking for your help to make that happen...



"This year’s theme, Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures, couldn’t come at a better time. Today, 27% of the world’s population is under the age of 15, and most of these young people live in the developing world. As adolescent girls enter their reproductive years, their needs for health services and information—about contraceptive options, HIV prevention, even maternal health—will grow exponentially. As it stands, medical complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15–19. Access to quality health services and information is crucial to inspiring brighter futures for girls worldwide.

That is why EngenderHealth is supporting adolescent girls like Ayenalem Bekel, 15, in Ethiopia, who unknowingly put herself at great risk of HIV, before she learned how to protect herself in an EngenderHealth workshop. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 75% of youth living with HIV are girls ages 15–24. Many girls like Ayenalem face so many difficult challenges, such as getting pregnant before they are ready, or not knowing where to turn for critical reproductive health information. In Ethiopia and elsewhere, we are increasing girls’ access to youth-friendly health services, including counseling, contraceptives, condoms, HIV testing, and maternal health.

There is an urgency to do more to safeguard the sexual and reproductive health of young people like Ayenalem.Please give today so that we can reach more girls and women with the quality health care they need to achieve their full potential."

International Museum of Women:
"On this International Women’s Day, we stand with women globally. As part of our new online exhibition, MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe, IMOW and Every Mother Counts advocate for improvement on one of the biggest challenges facing women around the globe: maternal mortality. Every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. The majority of these deaths are preventable; we know how to stop this. Now we must stand up and tell global leaders and policy makers that this is an issue that demands their attention."

Here’s how you can help this International Women’s Day.

1) Sign our pledge to improve maternal health globally. It’s easy, fast, and of course, free.

2) If you’ve already signed, share the Pledge on Facebook or Twitter.

3) Forward this email to a friend to wish them a Happy International Women’s Day and encourage them to sign, too.

The pledge and all signatures will be presented to leaders at the UN General Assembly in September 2012.

On this International Women’s Day, stand with women. Take the pledge.