Taking Action for Women and Girls in 2017

Taking Action for Women and Girls in 2017


As 2016 drew to a close, my fellow CARE Action advocates and I sensed a budding energy in DC, a collective yearning to re-engage with the political process, especially when it came to issues involving women and girls.  That’s why we, the DC/VA/MD CARE Action team, decided to start the new year with an event that 1. Updated the community on these issues and 2. Discussed how we could use our voices to advance positive outcomes for women and girls in 2017.

The event, held last Tuesday January 10 at Busboys and Poets, brought together CARE USA, Girl Up, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), three organizations leading the global charge toward equality and women’s advancement.

Julie Willig, Campaign Manager at Girl Up provided an overview of Girl Up’s advocacy agenda, including the Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act (H.R 5735), a bill that encourages countries to support primary and secondary education for internationally displaced children and evaluate the impact of education on girls and risk factors such as child marriage and gender-based violence.  We were inspired by the leadership of Girl Up’s young advocates who met with their local leaders and shed light on urgent development issues such as birth registration to ensure girls are counted by their governments.

UNFPA’s Rachel Moynihan, encouraged us to overcome the urge to tune out the news and instead do the opposite: get plugged in.  Now, more than ever, we need to amplify the voices of women and girls. 

At the event, I also learned about UNFPA’s lifesaving work. Rachel said it best--No woman should have to die giving life and UNFPA’s programs really work towards this end, providing women with the family planning and health services they need in emergency situations.

Ben Weingrod and Gayatri Patel, both Senior Policy Advocates at CARE USA, closed out the night with a message of hope that we can move the needle on legislation to protect and empower women and girls around the world.  I’m excited to work with CARE to make progress on the Reach Every Mother and Child (REACH) Act and the International Violence Against Women Act. 

Finally, I came away from the event reinvigorated that despite today’s partisan political environment, we can and will re-center on the core of the issues--what everyone, regardless of party affiliation, can get behind—saving and improving the lives of women and girls, a common goal that CARE, UNFPA, and Girl Up each work toward.  

On behalf of my fellow advocates, we are so happy to be part of CARE’s Walk in her Shoes campaign and the larger movement to build a just future for women and girls globally. I’m looking forward to working with you all to ensure that women and girls are a priority in this new administration.


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