A note from Ann Starrs, president of Family Care International, on the U.S. election:
One of the many remarkable and heartening aspects of the 2008 U.S. election is that it has engaged the entire world. As we have already heard from countless friends, colleagues, and supporters, we are suddenly living in a time not just of daunting challenges, but of inspiring opportunity and hope.
For those of us who work for sexual and reproductive health and rights, this moment is particularly promising. Barack Obama has, in his relatively brief time in the Senate, shown a clear commitment to our issues: he has sponsored legislation to support the Millennium Development Goals, has spoken out on the urgent need to build an effective global health infrastructure, and has signed a letter calling on Congress to allocate $1 billion for family planning and reproductive health. He, along with a Democratic Congress, can fundamentally transform U.S. government policy in ways that could have very concrete and real impacts on the lives of women around the world.
But this moment also presents a real challenge. As we all well know, reproductive health — including FCI’s core mission of making pregnancy and childbirth safer around the world — is just one of many pressing issues that President Obama will find on his desk. It is our task, together, to continue to argue forcefully for real, sustained political commitment to saving mothers’ and children’s lives, to advocate effectively for the financial investments needed to concretely express that commitment, and to develop the innovative, practical solutions that we know can make childbirth as safe for women in poor countries as it is for the women who voted to elect Barack Obama president.
How do you think President-Elect Barack Obama will deliver for women?