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Posts Tagged ‘Every Child’

“A Common Challenge Requires a Common Purpose”

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

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My thanks to Fashion 4 Development (Evie and Franca), the United Nation’s and Ambassador Cesare Maria Ragaglini for the honor of being invited to this momentous occasion, in welcoming the fashion industry to the Every Woman Every Child effort.

In May 2011 when the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon visited Nigeria, he spoke of the importance of partnership between government, business and civil society, saying ‘when they are united in a tripartite partnership, we can make it’.

I too believe that a common challenge requires a common purpose and it is for that reason that I have embraced the Secretary General’s Call To Action for Maternal Newborn and Child Heath within my Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Countdown to 2015 Millennium Development Goal Campaign.

To amplify this, The Wellbeing Foundation and I strive to be a catalyst for the Every Woman Every Child effort in Africa to save the lives of 16million women and children globally.  My own personal experience is a testimony to the fact that while there are no socio-economic boundaries reducing the universal challenges hampering the achievement of safe motherhood for all women in Africa, an empowered and educated woman is a health-seeking woman, for herself, her family and her community.  We therefore must connect with women themselves and empower them to effect the change necessary for better outcomes.

On this journey that I’ve been on for over 20 years, the fashion industry has a unique role to play because of:

1. Obvious connection women have to fashion, which present a great opportunity to utilize this channel to communicate with us and thereby mobilize efforts.

2. In Africa women are very much at the forefront of the fashion industry from the young lady creating jewelry in her bedroom to the market women trading traditional fabricsat bustling markets, and the emerging sophistication of contemporary fashion houses particularly in Nigeria. Fashion is an avenue to empower women and enable us to provide socio-economic freedom, which we know has an impact on women and their children’s wellbeing.

I welcome Fashion 4 Development’s commitment to this most important effort of our time and stand ready to partner to create synergies in order to save and improve the lives and wellbeing of every woman and every child.