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Mother's Day Message from Hillary; Gifts that Make a Difference

May 4, 2011

HILLARY: Making a difference for Mothers around the world

"Sunday is Mother’s Day.... And many of us will find ways to celebrate and thank our mothers, and we'll be grateful for all of the blessings that we’ve been given. But let’s not forget that becoming a mother can be a dangerous and life threatening undertaking. Every year, nearly 360,000 women worldwide don’t survive childbirth. Four million babies die during childbirth or within a few weeks. Most of these deaths can be prevented."

- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, May 3, 2011.

This week, Secretary Clinton announced the creation of the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA) a new public-private partnership, using mobile technology like cell phones and text messaging to deliver vital health information to new and expectant mothers around the world. The messages connect women with local health services and offer vitally needed information about how to care for themselves; explain the benefits of family planning; and how to care for their babies.

"Women in developing countries, some of the women most at risk for pregnancy-related problems, will be able to use their cell phones to get health information via text messages or voicemails, and the information can even be customized for the stage of pregnancy or the age of their children," Hillary said.

"It's not only the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do as well. Improving the health and status of women and girls acts as a positive multiplier because when women succeed, they lift themselves, they lift their families and their communities along with them."

MAMA, a partnership of USAID, the UN Foundation, Johnson and Johnson and Baby Center, will begin work in 3 countries - Bangladesh, India, and South Africa. Lessons learned from these and other initiatives will be shared, in an effort to reach millions of women with mobile phone access around the world.

Watch the video or read the full text here.

Click here for more information about MAMA.

HONORING MOTHERS PART II: CLEAN COOKSTOVES

In an interview with Time Magazine this week, Sec. Clinton talked about another new project that is making a difference in women's lives: the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.

"Everybody has a meal that is cooked, some of very meager, some of it very elaborate. But nearly 2 million people around the world, mostly women and children, die each year from this activity we all take for granted, because they are breathing the fumes and the smoke from using solid fuels, such as wood, or dung, or crop residues. That's almost as many people who die each year from malaria and tuberculosis combined," Hillary said.

Actress Julia Roberts has agreed to serve as Global Ambassador for the clean cookstoves program, Hillary announced. This is an environmental issue – one fifth of all black carbon emissions... and it's also a safety issue, because in too many parts of the world women are forced to go into dangerous situation to search for fuel. New, inexpensive, clean cookstove technology can save women's lives in many ways!

"You think something that's such a joy and a privilege to my life every day is this incredible, horrific danger to women around the world every day, and I was stunned," Julia Roberts said. "So it's a very big, far-reaching issue with this small word 'cookstove,' but it really is about environment and about human safety and human kindness."

On this – and every Mother's Day: "...we ought to be not only celebrating the extraordinary work that most mothers do every day," Hillary said. "But we ought to be looking for ways to perhaps make it less difficult, less dangerous, in so many parts of the world."

Read the full interview here.

EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY IN THE GLOBAL WORKPLACE

"It is...particularly important that women and minorities have access to opportunity and participation. Nations cannot flourish if half their population is consigned to the margins or denied their rights. We have seen how women play a vital role in driving social and economic progress when they are accorded their rights and afforded equal opportunity..."

- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

No Limits Foundation is proud to be a co-sponsor of an important event, Expanding Opportunity in the Global Workplace. Co-sponsored with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, on Monday May 16, this program will address workplace discrimination and encourage fair workplace policies that help spur economic growth. Promoting equality in opportunity for all can support widespread and equitable economic growth and should be an important theme within trade, employment, development and foreign policy. On May 16, we'll bring together experts to discuss an important report from the International Labour Organization and stimulate interest and attention in policy measures to address workplace equality. Watch for more to come!

AS GABBY GIFFORdS RECOVERS, A RUNNING START FOR YOUNG LEADERS

We were all glad to learn that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was well enough to travel to what she hoped would be last week's shuttle launch. Now, as she recovers, we have news of a program honoring Christina-Taylor Green, the 9-year-old who was killed in that tragic attack.

Running Start, a non-profit organization that educates and trains young girls to be leaders, focusing on political involvement, recently announced a scholarship in the name of the youngest victim of the devastating Tucson, Arizona shooting: Christina-Taylor Green.

The Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Scholarship will be given to a girl between 9 and 18 years old, from Southern Arizona who has an interest in politics. This scholarship allows Running Start to mentor girls like Christina-Taylor so that their spark of interest in politics is encouraged as they move through high school and beyond. The scholarship will be formally announced by Diane Sawyer at their annual event, the Women to Watch Awards, in D.C. next week.

We are pleased to hear about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' continued progress and wish her the best as she continues to recover.

GIVE WITH A PURPOSE THIS MOTHER'S DAY

Looking for a special gift for Mother's Day? Here are some suggestions that offer the perfect gift while empowering women around the world - what a great way to celebrate Mother's Day!

CARE is a leading humanitarian organization with a focus on empowering poor women. This year, they are selling gourmet gift packages of organic, fair trade chocolate, coffee or tea that also helps support mothers worldwide. 100% of the proceeds support CARE.

Paper to Pearls trains women in refugee camps in Uganda so that they can earn a living and support their families by making beautiful hand-rolled bead jewelry. Check out their unique products here.

Nomi Network is a based in Cambodia and employs women and girls who are survivors or high risk for human trafficking. Check out their fashionable bags and wallets here.

JOIN US!

Listen to our five previous members-only conference calls and join the ones to come! Become a member today. In every No Limits newsletter, we try to give you up-to-date information about the issues that matter. Our website, videos, and Facebook and Twitter outreach help spread the word, and members-only conference calls bring us the latest policy information.

THE LAST WORD

"By saving one sick child or one pregnant woman, we saved a family. Each one then creates a growing community of gratitude and hope. Better health for a woman means more productivity and optimism, which make it more likely her children will go to school. The family income rises, and radical solutions seem less appealing."

- Ret. Army Col. John Agoglia served as director of the Counterinsurgency Training Center-Afghanistan in Kabul from 2008-2010. Read Col. Agoglia's article here.

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