|A New President, A New Agenda for Girls and Women|
For Immediate Release:
A New President, A New Agenda for Girls and Women
November 5, 2008, NEW YORK, NY – “From our partners in every country of the world, we are hearing excitement at the election of Barack Obama. To quote one, ‘human rights are back again and every measure to curtail freedoms is now not so popular.’
For many Americans, and the world, the most urgent issues facing President-elect Obama will be the financial crisis and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we need to put them into perspective. The work that is undertaken before he takes office, his inaugural address, and the early months of a new Administration will need to place U.S. leadership at the forefront of protecting and promoting human rights and equality for all. This will go far in restoring confidence during this difficult time.
Despite—in fact, because of these crises—we hope he will emphasize U.S. government—and the U.S. people’s—commitment to end poverty and injustice worldwide. In our globalized world, it is essential that low- and middle-income countries weather the storm well in order for rich countries to do so. At the heart of our strategy must be foreign assistance for health and education.
Based on 40 years of international work, I know that there will be no global peace or security until we secure every woman’s right to a just and healthy life. Only healthy women whose human rights are protected can be fully productive workers and effective participants in their country’s political processes. Only when women are healthy and empowered can they raise and educate healthy children. These are the building blocks of stable societies and growing economies, and imperative in their own right.
President-elect Obama has the unique opportunity, and the profound responsibility, to reverse harmful international health policies imposed by the U.S. government in the last eight years and to reestablish our credibility and global leadership on human rights for all by:
The next Administration has the opportunity and the power to change the future for millions of girls and women, boys and men. It will take courage and vision to act boldly. The reward—in lives saved and in our restored reputation as a global leader for social justice—will be incalculable.
Click here to read "A New Agenda for Girls' and Women's Health and Rights" - a paper by Adrienne Germain outlining what the new U.S. Administration must do to make a just and healthy life a reality for the world's women and girls.