March 9, 2010

International Women’s Day 2010: Causes to Celebrate.

It’s International Women’s Day today, a day that deserves lots of recognition and celebration. So I put together this piece over at Under Solen to highlight a few causes and organizations that are doing good things when it comes to the world’s women.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. In short, the day is a “global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future,” and in some places it’s even a national holiday. This year’s theme is “Equal rights, equal opportunities: Progress for all.”

Not until I lived in France did I realize how important this day is on a global level. I remember the streets filled with women holding signs in support of women-led movements the world round and stories of females covering the front pages of the day’s newspapers. The day was honored in a way I had never seen in the US, with women from all kinds of backgrounds coming together to celebrate.

But International Women’s Day isn’t just about glorious celebrations, it’s also for raising awareness about all the advances that still need to be made the world round. New York Times contributor Nicholas Kristof, has a great article today entitled “Three Proven Steps to Advance the World’s Women, on International Women’s Day” proposing three ideas that he believes would be the most effective interventions in raising the status of women around the world: supporting girls’ education, promoting health programs that focus on deworming and micronutrients, and finally, more support for women starting businesses.

As women living in the Western world, today is an excellent reminder to be appreciative of all the opportunities that we have and to be aware of how much more can be done, both at home and abroad.

Here are a few female-focused organizations, focused on bettering the lives of women worldwide, that we think are certainly worth checking out and supporting.

The Girl Effect

In collaboration with the United Nations Foundation and other key partners, The Nike Foundation created The Girl Effect, with the ultimate goal of ending poverty by focusing on girls. That means education, health initiatives and work opportunities. Learn more here.


Camfed’s goal is straight and to the point: to improve the lives of two million children by 2013. But it’s a lofty one, and they could certainly use support in getting there. The organization fights poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa by educating girls and empowering women to become leaders of change, and there are several ways that you can take part from donating money to hosting an event in support of the organization. Learn how by going here.

Women’s Rights

Women’s Rights is a great place to take action on a variety of women’s issues around the world, from reproductive rights to women in politics. Currently the organization is asking visitors to take action by signing a petition that asks members of Congress to sponsor the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive Act, an act that is intended to lift millions of women globally out of poverty.

World Pulse

If you’re a believer in the power of women as well as independent media, you need to check out World Pulse. A media enterprise that covers global issues through the eyes of women, World Pulse published World Pulse Magazine as well as Pulse Wire, an interactive community newswire where women can speak for themselves to the world and connect to solve global problems. As founder Jensine Larsen puts it, “As a global media source we tackle difficult issues; as World Pulse, we never leave our readers without a solution that is working somewhere in the world, and we tell these stories from the perspective of powerful, leading women.”

Bookmark the site, subscribe to the magazine and get informed from a fresh perspective.

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