Every year on March 8th, we celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women – past, present and future. While every day should be International Women’s Day, today marks the day that we celebrate ordinary women as makers of herstory — a “day rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men,” the United Nations says.
For 15 years, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) has worked to ensure the fundamental human right to reproductive health and justice for Latinas, their families and their communities. Founded in direct response to the lack of Latina visibility on reproductive rights and health issues, to this day NLIRH is the only national Latina health and reproductive rights organization representing the increasingly diverse and growing Latina population. And, we are now working hard on health care reform, urging members of Congress to: include abortion coverage, lift the five year bar, include immigrants in the health exchange, and include citizens of Puerto Rico in the health exchange.
On International Women’s Day 2010, and as we near the end of the health care reform, NLIRH reflects on the amazing work of our activists on the ground – particularly in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas – who are working tirelessly for health care reform in their own communities by writing letters, meeting with their legislators, organizing rallies and marches, and speaking on bilingual radio stations on the importance of health care reform.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, I encourage YOU to make a difference, as well — to think globally and act locally. Every one of us has the power to make a difference! If you remember, only 4 months ago, NLIRH, our colleagues, and our activists helped achieve an important victory for the reproductive justice movement when the CDC removed the discriminatory HPV vaccination requirement for immigrant women and girls — showcasing the power of cross-movement building strategies to secure reproductive justice and bodily autonomy for the most vulnerable in our society.
La lucha sigue! Happy International Women’s Day….. and, Happy Women’s Herstory Month!