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Give a dollar to help women on International Womens Day

In Honor of International Women's Day on March 8 Meet the Challenge - Add Your Voice and Your Dollar
On the 10th anniversary of the United Nations World Conference on Women -
the internationally agreed roadmap for advancing opportunity, equality and
health for the world's women - and to help commemorate International Women's
Day on March 8, 2005, 34 Million Friends of UNFPA, a grassroots movement in
solidarity with the world's women, is urging Americans to demonstrate their
compassion and commitment to women's health and opportunity.

We are challenging 10,000 Americans to contribute at least $1 in support of
the world's women by March 8.

"One dollar, says Lois Abraham, is a very low barrier to entry to become
committed and to take a stand."

The need is great.

While much progress has been made in advancing women's health and rights
over the past 10 years, millions of women continue to face almost
unimaginable challenges just to survive each day. The HIV/AIDS pandemic
takes an increasing toll on women. One in three of the world's women suffer
violence each year. Nearly 350 million couples still need, but do not have
access to reproductive health and family planning services. Women remain
vulnerable to cultural traditions that violate their basic human rights and
are harmful to their lives, including child marriage and lack of property
rights. In short, women's lives are at stake the world over.

Countries around the world have banded together to try and improve the lives
of women, through the action plan agreed at the FWCW 10 years ago, and
through international organizations advocating on behalf of women. Helping
to pioneer these efforts is UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund.

UNFPA is the largest multilateral reproductive health and family planning
organization in the world, working in more than 140 countries at their
invitation to help women have healthy pregnancies, survive childbirth and
plan their families. UNFPA's efforts are integral to HIV prevention; they
are a leader in working to end female genital mutilation, violence against
women and obstetric fistula; and UNFPA strives for equal rights to food,
education, opportunity and health care.

There are 166 countries that provide financial support to UNFPA to continue
it's invaluable work - but the United States is not one of them. Since
2002, the Bush Administration has blocked the money that Congress has
appropriated each year for UNFPA. But we know Americans support this
life-saving work. And while our government is not doing what it should, WE
CAN.

A CHALLENGE

"We have an idealist goal - but I know Americans are up to the challenge,"
said Jane Roberts, cofounder of 34 Million Friends. "UNFPA has a vision, and
so do we. Your generous support so far has enabled UNFPA to provide
much-needed services. Will you help us again? Will you help us find those
who have not yet given to 34 Million Friends of UNFPA?"

In the two weeks before International Women's Day (March 8), we urge you to
RAISE MORE VOICES by passing this message along to friends, family,
neighbors, co-workers - anyone you think will support this great effort.

Help us find at least 10,000 American women who will raise at least $10,000
to provide reproductive health services - safe motherhood, contraceptives
and HIV prevention - to our sisters in the world's poorest countries.

Let them know that they can go to www.34millionfriends.org and make a
contribution or send to 34 Million Friends of UNFPA, PO Box 5343, Denver CO
80217-5343. Help us spread the word with those who would be willing to add
their voice and help us Meet The Challenge.

On March 8, 2005, the world will celebrate International Women's Day. The
occasion is marked by women's groups around the world, is commemorated at
the United Nations and is designated as a national holiday in many
countries.

The idea of an International Women's Day began at the turn of the century
and is a reminder of the decades of struggle by women to participate in
society on an equal footing with men. Today, these same ideals hold true
and are even further expanded upon in the areas of health and rights.
International Women's day in the 21st century is an opportunity for women of
all ethnicities, cultures and religions from all over the world, to
celebrate their day and to look forward to their future.

Additional Information

For more information about 34 Million Friends of UNFPA and its partners,
visit www.34millionfriends.org.
 
 


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