By: Jill Sheffield, Founder and President of Women Deliver; originally posted on Devex
Throughout the last three decades, I’ve dedicated my life’s work to improving the health and well-being of girls and women. I have tremendous gratitude for the trailblazers who made this possible — those around the globe who spoke up for the health and rights of girls and women even when it was unpopular or dangerous to do so. They have made possible all the progress we’ve seen, and inspire me to keep striving for more.
On this International Women’s Day, I want to look ahead to the future and celebrate the young men and women, many of whom weren’t even born when I began my journey, who are not only picking up the torch to advocate for women’s rights, but are carrying it with new fervor, passion and creative thinking.
Now is the time to deepen our investment — both in time and money — in supporting these new champions with new ideas and solutions to improve the education and health of and achieve equality for girls and women. While we have certainly made progress on these issues, we do not need to look very far to realize there is so much more to be done.
Worldwide, women work two-thirds of the world’s hours, yet earn just one-tenth of the world’s income. Nearly 300,000 women and girls still die needlessly in pregnancy and childbirth and unfairly lack access to basic health care, including family planning. And 31 million girls of primary school age are not enrolled, while every day thousands are forced into early marriage...