Each International Women’s Day, we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women around the globe. Those achievements are the hard-won efforts of both individuals and organizations that stand behind the causes that affect women most.
Those causes include health care, reproductive rights, and protection from domestic abuse. Amongst organizations working in developing countries, poverty is also a key focus as it is a contributor to gender inequality.
So while we celebrate those women that have changed the world, we also want to highlight a few organizations that are shifting the conversation around women’s issues in important ways.
9 Ways Organizations are Making a Difference in the Lives of Women
1. Rights4Girls is redefining the way we talk about child abuse
Withelma "T" Ortiz Walker Pettigrew was sexually exploited in the U.S. from ages 10 to 17. The media refers to someone like Withelma as a child prostitute when in fact she is a survivor of child rape. Together with Rights4Girls, Withelma is petitioning the AP to stop using the term “child prostitute.”
2. GenderAvenger is fighting for female representation in the media
Morning Joe, a weekday morning talk show, went to New Hampshire in December to discuss the presidential race. And while they were there, they didn’t interview a single woman. As an organization dedicated to making sure women are in the public dialogue, GenderAvenger is petitioning Morning Joe to have a gender balance in their coverage of the presidential races.
3. Even the Score is ensuring women are treated equally when it comes to sex
When The Food and Drug Administration was on the verge of announcing whether or not it would approve the first-ever drug for women with HSDD (hypoactive sexual desire disorder), Even the Score, a campaign for women’s sexual health equity, wasn’t leaving anything up to chance. They started a petition to tell the FDA to “make #HERstory by acting for women and opening the door to HSDD medical treatment options that they can discuss with their doctors.” The FDA approved the drug.
4. MD Maternity Access Coalition is insisting on high-quality maternity care for all
MD Maternity Access Coalition petitioned the General Assembly to support the No-Fault Birth Injury Fund, paid for by hospitals, which ensures children who suffer birth injuries get the lifetime care they need, and protects access to high-quality maternity health care.
5. Global Citizen is standing up for women and girls
Global Citizen is fighting to end global poverty. Part of that fight is protecting women worldwide -- one in three of which has been abused either sexually, physically, or psychologically. So they asked all of us to pledge to fight to end violence against women and girls.
6. ONE is protecting girls and women around the globe
ONE is also dedicated to ending global poverty. The organization petitioned Congress to rethink slashing funds for poverty-fighting programs that help women and girls around the globe -- including medical care and education.
7. Amnesty International UK is protecting women from unjust laws that target women
Did you know that in El Salvador a miscarriage can land you 40 years in prison for aggravated homicide? As part of their campaign to reverse such unjust laws, Amnesty International UK asked people to imagine losing a child and then being taken to prison.
8. Breast Cancer Now is fighting for women’s health
The drug Kadcyla prolongs the lives of women with secondary breast cancer. But the drug -- made by Roche -- cost too much for the National Health Service in England. So when Roche went to negotiate with the NHS, thousands of women were at risk of losing a drug that could give them months, and even years, to live. Breast Cancer Now petitioned Roche to drop the price of the drug. They were victorious when the NHS and Roche reached a settlement, ensuring that women who needed the drug would receive it.
9. WASP Museum is working to get women the recognition they deserve
During World War II, Elaine Danforth Harmon enlisted in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She, along with more than 1,000 other female pilots worked stateside ferrying planes, towing targets for training, and serving as instruments instructors for male pilots. They earned veteran status in 1977 and in 2009 they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. But, Arlington National Cemetery and other military cemeteries say that these women don’t qualify for military burial honors. Harmon’s granddaughters, in partnership with the WASP Museum, are petitioning to get her and others inurned in Arlington.
Does your organization change women’s lives?