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International Women's Day – USAID's Commitment to Women's Health and Welfare
March 8, 2010

Photo Source: Massoud Hossaini/AFP

Every year since 1911, International Women’s Day on March 8 has focused global attention to the continued need for improving women’s status and opportunities everywhere in the world. Because of their roles in raising families, providing and seeking care, and managing household needs, the health of women is fundamental to healthy communities. And because healthy, productive communities are essential for global economic growth and regional security, the health of women is critical to global prosperity.

USAID has shown its commitment to advancing the welfare of women and girls through support of global programs that further girls’ education, women’s legal rights and political participation, economic opportunities, improved access to quality health care information and services, and antihuman trafficking prevention, all of which help to advance the status of women. The theme of International Women’s Day 2010 is “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities, Progress for All.”

Carrie Ngongo Wins Honorable Mention from Nicolas Kristof’s “Half the Sky” Contest
“Half the Sky,” inspired by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s bestseller of the same title, follows the stories of extraordinary women around the world as they struggle to overcome oppression. Kristof and WuDunn focus on three major problems facing women: sex trafficking, maternal mortality, and violence against women. The Half the Sky event was captured live on February 11, 2010, out of New York City and is being rebroadcast to select theatres nationwide on March 4 at 7:30 p.m.Carrie Ngongo, Senior Program Associate at EngenderHealth, a USAID-supported project in Niger, won an honorable mention from Nicolas Kristof’s “Half the Sky” contest in The New York Times, in which readers were asked to contribute personal stories about their work with women’s issues worldwide. Ms. Ngongo reflects on her own experience as a first-time mother in contrast with the reality faced by fistula survivors in Niger who do not have adequate access to obstetric care. Read more.

Women Making a Difference in Global Health

Launched on International Women’s Day 2008, USAID’s Women Making a Difference in Global Health series highlights women whose work through USAID-supported projects has had a positive impact on the health and lives of other women, families, and communities. Profiles follow of four powerful women who make strong contributions in the best ways they can, and USAID is proud to honor them. Read stories from the Women Making a Difference in Global Health Series.