This is a somewhat scattered Mother’s Day post. To start off, I’d like to say thank you, Kristof:
By United Nations estimates, 215 million women worldwide have an “unmet need” for family planning, meaning they don’t want to become pregnant but are not using effective contraception. The Guttmacher Institute, a widely respected research organization, estimates that if all the unmet need for contraception were met, the result would be 94,000 fewer women dying of pregnancy complications each year, and almost 25 million fewer abortions each year.
Read the rest of his column about how family planning could save lives across the globe and why we need to press our government for it here–it’s a lesson we should all be thinking about this Mother’s Day.
And, while you’re at it, instead of buying your mother, grandmother, step-mother, or any other kind of female maternal figure in your life flowers, chocolates, or a card, consider making a donation in her name instead. The Mother’s Day Movement was created last year after a group of women decided that the $14 billion that Americans spent on Mother’s Day flowers, cards, and meals could be better spent–they started a campaign to raise money for a charity that improves the lives of women and children. This year, they are raising money for Shining Hope for Communities, an organization that runs a community center, health clinic, and school for girls in Nairobi, Kenya. If this organization doesn’t strike your fancy, Kristof (in another column) gives some suggestions for many other organizations that help women, like The Fistula Foundation, an organization that helps women suffering from obstetric fistulas, a horrible condition that begins at birth that causes women to leak out waste, here. This year, my sister and I decided together to celebrate our mother (in addition to talking to her and expressing our love) by doing something to help women around the world–she’s always taught us to care about other people, especially women in suffering, and we knew she’d appreciate it a lot more than flowers.
And finally, Happy Mother’s Day! I hope that whether you live near, with, or halfway across the world from your mother/maternal figure (my current situation), you find a way to say thanks for all she does for you.