April 14, 2005

The Ability to Walk Endlessly Without Being Stopped

Dear Friends,

Last week, as US President Bush reaffirmed his commitment to universal freedom in the State of the Union Address, I reflected on what freedom means to the women of the world. I’d like to share with you the wise words of Maha Abu Dayyeh Shamas, the Director of the Women's Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, a Global Fund grantee in Jerusalem: “Freedom, for me, is the ability to walk endlessly without being stopped. To be able to keep moving forward. For me this ability is physical and also mental. To think without being restricted.

Around the world millions of women and girls are routinely denied this freedom of movement and mind. Yet, with amazing courage, it is women themselves who are dismantling the walls of discrimination that rob them of their human rights. In Iraq, despite threats to their own safety, women seized their right to vote as an opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of their nation. In the regions devastated by the tsunami, women’s groups are playing a vital role to ensure that relief efforts address the particular needs of women and children, the disaster’s most vulnerable survivors.

In early March, hundreds of women’s groups, including dozens of Global Fund grantees, will arrive in New York to mark the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action and to attend the 49th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. On March 8, International Women’s Day, Global Fund for Women supporters from across the United States will host house parties to raise funds for the Investing in Women Campaign. On that day, we will be celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women in solidarity with women’s groups around the world.

Posted by Kavita Ramdas on April 14, 2005 | Permalink | Comments (0)