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Looking Forward: From Problems to Progress

By: Saundra Pelletier; Originally posted on Huffington Post

As this year comes to a close, I'll take this time for reflection and introspection -- to celebrate the successes, lament the missteps and be grateful for how far WomanCare Global has come. But it won't be long before I'll start thinking about tomorrow and the work that needs to be done. It's critical work because our world needs women -- and women need to have choices. Regardless of what motivates you, whether it's global warming, nutrition, agriculture or clean water, I am certain that the first step forward is providing women and girls with safe, affordable and sustainable contraceptive choice.

I have a deeply rooted conviction and passion to have a closer impact on women and girls. This is one of the reasons I left the private sector. I believed then, as I do now, that a more direct path to serving women is through a cause rather than a corporation. It became my mission to do something every day, to empower someone, somewhere and to make a positive and sustainable impact on the lives of women and girls. That's why I feel strongly that now is the time to focus on progress and not problems. Hillary Clinton said, "the way to continue our fight now -- to accomplish the goals for which we stand -- is to take our energy, our passion, our strength and do all we can." I believe those words and I believe that we are the agents of change -- the power and responsibility lies with us.

Over the past year at WomanCare Global, we've focused our energy and passion to be in the best position to enable change. At the beginning of the year, we committed to becoming more integrated into the network of family planning organizations that are working tirelessly to address challenges in global reproductive health. We brought new people into our organization, developed new competencies and strategically applied our resources -- and the results have been amazing. We're now partnering with some of the largest government and social organizations in the world (including USAID and PSI) to bring innovative reproductive health products and solutions to areas of great need, like India, Zambia and Malawi. We joined with organizations like Women Deliver to facilitate mentorships in developing markets and create opportunities for women and girls to learn more about family planning options. We're partnering with a novel biotechnology company, Evofem, to bring an innovative, new contraceptive product to market -- one that's woman controlled and hormone free. We are taking our energy and our strength and we are doing all that we can.

I'm looking forward to a new year which will undoubtedly bring new challenges, but most importantly, it will bring new opportunities. And I hope you will join me -- join us -- as we work to make a difference in the lives of women and girls all over the world. As Hillary said, "Every moment spent looking back keeps us from moving forward."

Best Wishes & Happy Holidays.

Follow Saundra Pelletier on Twitter.

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