In 2010 the Country Directors of Women for Women's programmes in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo had an idea that became the impetus for a global campaign, led by Women for Women, in which over 20,000 people took part with 119 events in 19 countries on the 8th March, as part of International Women's Day.
The Bridge events ranged from a group of girls in the Hindu Kush, north eastern Afghanistan who stood on a bridge beside their school to women from as far afield as Panama, Sydney, Ontario and Brussels, who stood alongside women in war-torn countries and in towns all across the US and UK.
For 2010, we also called on you to sign our petition calling on our government to put women at the heart of development and invest more in women and girls as part of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Kate Nustedt, UK Executive Director explains why delivering the signatures were so important: "Today was the culmination of the campaigning of thousands of supporters and participants of Women for Women International from all over the world. We handed over the petition to David Cameron at 10 Downing Street that so many of you signed up to, calling for greater investment in women in war-torn countries so that they can rebuild their lives, families, communities and, ultimately, their communities."
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are an ambitious set of eight global targets for development and poverty reduction that the 192 United Nations member states and international organisations have agreed to achieve by 2015. Recognised as the foremost global policy instrument for poverty reduction, the targets include eradicating poverty, decreasing maternal and child mortality, fighting disease, and advancing gender equality.
The Eight MDGs:
- Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
- Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
- Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
- Goal 5: Improve maternal health
- Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
- Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
This gives us pause to reflect on the tremendous work left to be done in order to eradicate poverty and achieve equality for all the world's citizens. The Join Me on the Bridge campaign believes stronger women can build bridges of peace. Through our campaigning work and one-year programmes in Afghanistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Rwanda, and Sudan, Women for Women supports women in areas of conflict move from victim to survivor to active citizen. Their demands for security, economic opportunity and an equal voice at the peace negotiation tables are the way forward for the women of Afghanistan, the Congo and other war-torn countries to help build stronger nations.
See photos from 2010 Bridge events across the world on Flickr.