Women Thrive accomplished a lot on behalf of the world’s women and girls in 2013. We've highlighted 13 of our favorite moments from the past year. Check them out and get involved in making 2014 a big year for women and girls!
In September, Women Thrive headed to Haiti for our third visit to the country in a year. While there, we trained more than 30 activists from all corners of Haiti on honing strategy and messaging skills for effective gender-focused advocacy.
- In November, we celebrated the bipartisan reintroduction of the International Violence Against Women Act, gathering dedicated activists on Capitol Hill to make our voices heard.
- In July, the United Nations hosted the first annual Malala Day. We were thrilled to sponsor 23-year-old Ojonwa Miachi from Nigeria to attend. At the event, Ojonwa launched onto the international stage as a leading advocate for girls’ education. She's met with world leaders and has even started talking with Malala Yousafzai about how they can both make a difference in education.
- After the devastating typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, we sounded an alarm for the safety of women and girls in the wake of the storm, highlighting the issue in the media and working with Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) to call for safeguards against violence and exploitation of women and girls in the wake of the storm.
- Des Moines, Iowa might not be the center of the policy world, but each year the city hosts what is arguably the most important global conversation on hunger and agriculture. In October, Ritu hopped a flight to Iowa to advocate for a greater role for women farmers from developing countries in the campaign against world hunger. Here is Women Thrive's Ritu Sharma backstage with her co-panelists, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and philanthropist Howard Buffett.
- Women's economic opportunities can make or break a family's ability to survive and thrive, so this year we expanded our work on women’s economic opportunities with intensive on-the-ground research in Haiti and Ghana. When we arrived in one small village in northern Ghana, we were met by 150 amazing members of a women's farming collective who welcomed us with dancing and excitement.
- Youth are leading the charge to improve education for the world's children. In 2013, Women Thrive's Laura Henderson began formally advising the United Nation’s Youth Advocacy Group (part of the Global Education First Initiative) to help ensure that girls are learning the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the 21st Century. Here she is at the United Nations with Salathiel Ntakirutimana from Burundi.
Three cheers for Cathy Russell, who Women Thrive supported to become Ambassador-at-Large to lead the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. She was confirmed to the post in August.
- Talk about growth! In 2013, we welcomed 45 new members into our Global Partnerships Network, from countries like Pakistan, Mexico, and Sierra Leone.
- We met up with Maria, a rural farmer who lives just outside Marcala, Honduras. Maria's family was one of 40 who benefitted from an irrigation program Women Thrive worked to promote. As a result, her children are healthier and now she can afford to send them to school.
This summer, we kicked off The Elise Fiber Smith Forum, a new event series to examine the most pressing policy issues concerning women worldwide. The forums have alread brought together decision makers from the Department of State, global activists, and women from Pakistan, Afhanistan, and Haiti.
- In July, we met Nicaraguan entrepreneur Doña Erlinda Ramirez. You've heard the saying, "the early bird gets the worm"? Well, Doña Erlinda told us "As women, we can't wait to get up!"
What better way to promote women's rights than to get others involved in the fight? In October, we launched the new #GirlLikeMe campaign with MTV’s Tanisha Long to engage young women and girls across America in backing our sisters around the globe.