Ensuring the well-being and safety of women and girls is no easy task. Over the last four years, good gains have been made in ending violence against women and girls but the fight is nowhere near complete. Just within the last couple of months, we have been reminded of how much work needs to be done: rapes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have risen dramatically due in large part to ongoing conflict there, Malala Yousufzai was brutally shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for standing up for her right to be educated, and a spree of horrendous gang rapes in India have left both the country and the world outraged.
It's clear that policy makers must prioritize the safety of women and girls in order to ensure that broad, sustainable changes are made. As we begin a second Obama Administration, and as women and girls' champion Secretary of State Hillary Clinton steps down in the coming weeks, Women Thrive Worldwide Co-founder and President Ritu Sharma had a few things to say in recent press opportunities:
"Dear Mr. President,
Thanks to your leadership, the U.S. government has taken huge strides forward in helping to prevent and end violence against women around the world during your first term… ending gender-based violence should remain a top priority for your administration. What we’re asking from you is to take a firm position of leadership in holding various government agencies accountable for ensuring that this strategy is implemented correctly and effectively." (read the full article here: http://womenthrive.org/blog/dear-mr-president-make-your-legacy-last-investing-women)
"Amid all the speculation over what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will or will not do next, here’s the question that’s not being asked: Will anyone else bring the same dedication and focus to improving the lives of women around the world as she has done?" (read the full article here: http://womenthrive.org/media-resources/pressroom/news/after-hillary-clinton-who-will-fight-women). If Clinton’s successor does not prioritize equality as she did, years of progress will be lost. Women Thrive will work directly with the new Secretary and other members of the State Department to help continue this positive momentum.
With your support, Women Thrive has become a leading advocate in the fight to end violence against women and girls. Thank you for your commitment to this cause. I look forward to sharing future media coverage and good news in the coming months.
PS – Tune in to watch Ritu speak on CSPAN's Washington Journal on Sunday, Feb. 3, where Ritu will talk about what can be done in 2013 to end violence against women and girls.
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