Padmini Murthy is a 2014 UNA-USA Social Good Summit Blogger Fellow. View this post on her blog.
Greetings From New York!
This week is packed with action and adventure as we New Yorkers play host to world leaders, activists, and global citizens who convene here for the 69th UN General Assembly. This week, I'm a UNA-USA blogger fellow at the Social Good Summit.
The 2-day summit is a global grassroots movement to bring people from diverse backgrounds together- the movers and the shakers and activists- share in what they can do to make our world a fair and just one.
The Theme for this years event, #2030Now, brings out an important question to all of us who live on this planet: "What type of World do I want to live by the year 2030?"
The summit highlighted the principles of the United Nations in the context of the Millennium Development Goals. Many luminaries shared their wisdom, experiences, stories, and frustration with their live audience in NYC and those who were following the event on social media.
"As a woman, a physician, and a mother, I experienced mixed emotions."
As a woman, a physician, and a mother, I experienced mixed emotions when the speakers discussed issues of gender empowerment, investing in women, promoting education for girls, and making gender discrimination an ugly page in history books by 2030. My views resonated with the remarks made by Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, Victoria Shaba and Liya Kebede, who shared their experiences and their anguish over the continued lack of access and skilled birth attendants for pregnant women. I am a firm believer that there is no cure or excuse for the high maternal mortality rates in so many low and mid income countries, but 98% of maternal mortality is preventable. We need to act now so that women do not have to die while giving birth and life to their children. Gender inequality, poverty harmful cultural practices, climate change, gender base violence are contributors to these high rates of maternal mortality. At this day and age of unprecedented global connectivity, there is no real development without gender equality principles and practice being ingrained in local, national, international, socio- cultural, and economic policies.
One of the public health triumphs shared by Drs. Hopkins and Siddall is the eradication of the guinea worm, which has been a grave challenge in many low income countries. Just as the last guinea worm is being exhibited in the American Museum of Natural History, I hope gender inequality becomes a page in history books.
"Just as the last guinea worm is being exhibited in the American Museum of Natural History, I hope gender inequality becomes a page in history books."
To wrap up the summit, Alicia Keys inspired and galvanized all of us to contribute in any way we can to the #WeAreHere campaign to make the playing field equal for both genders. As an activist who has been working to improve women's health as a health care professional, my message is: Women's health and human rights are linked, and the time is now to begin to work together to make a world which is fair and just for all.
Please follow the action on Twitter via #2030NOW and #WeAre Here.