Ingrid Graves (Washington, DC)
“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities: violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.”United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon chose these words to introduce “A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women,” this year’s theme for International Women’s Day. His message to strengthen this commitment resonates universally because it connects women at the human level.
Linked by their common humanity, women across borders play a central role in their societies, especially those recovering from conflict. Women often take the initiative and responsibility of reweaving the social fabric in the process to regain a sense of normalcy for the community. A key part of achieving “normal” for children is returning to school.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, Creative and key development leaders recently joined Women Thrive Worldwide at the event Lessons Not Learned: A Crisis in Girls’ Education to discuss the importance of providing girls with access to a quality education, so they can build their future. Charito Kruvant, Creative’s CEO, poignantly noted:
“Throughout the developing world, we have made key advances in providing women with access to education and improving quality of education. However, we cannot undermine that the world in conflict is not perfect. You take life as it is and then envision the systems necessary for children to be able to attend school.”
A significant component of these systems is guaranteeing a child’s physical safety. Echoing the Secretary-General’s message, all girls have a right to attend school and not to worry about their risk of being attacked. Reestablishing school systems that provide a quality education and safe environment to children is vital to the recovery of societies healing from conflict.
As we gather around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day and the invaluable contributions women have made, Creative remembers women who have taken risks and dedicated themselves to bettering their future, so their daughters and their daughters’ daughters will live in a better world.