"I owe this group so much," says Alexandra Saali, a founding member from 2008 who now serves as a Young Professionals "Amplifer" for Girl Be Heard. Hearing about the plights of Congolese women and the other girls gave her "purpose, mission, and the drive that kept me on track through the crazy years of growing up.
Feminism has become a dirty word. For many, it can alienate. For some it conjures up images of people demanding opportunities that they do not deserve. It's a complicated topic with which this generation of women struggle. Knowing they are capable, the suggestion that special treatment is required, mocks the very concept that women are trying to overcome. Judge each person on their ability.
Many governments still do not see the need to allocate or increase resources for efforts that would strengthen health systems to reduce maternal mortality, address violence against women, ensure access to sexual and reproductive health care, and end child marriage. In fact, these areas should be priorities if we are to achieve sustainable development for generations to come.
It's so easy to get caught up working for long-term change that sometimes we forget to stop and look at the differences we're making today. That's why I'd like to stop and take a moment to tell you about a remarkable family of strong women leaders whose involvement in various Women's Foundation programs strengthens and perfectly exemplifies our mission.