We can and must turn this picture to reality. Right now, every country is working to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and to define a new global development plan. We must seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to position gender equality, women's rights and women's empowerment firmly at the center of the global agenda.
I was born in South Africa, in Durban. My mother was a community health nurse, specializing in family planning. She understood that women's health is vital to the health of the entire society. She was determined to make a difference and express her opinion, and she was my first exposure to activism.