International Women's Day 2014: Celebrate Women Health Leaders Inspiring Change

International Women's Day 2014: Celebrate Women Health Leaders Inspiring Change

International Women’s Day, March 8, signifies more than a single day can encompass. At MSH, International Women’s Day is a day for celebrating women health leaders who inspire change and an opportunity to recommit ourselves to another year of action toward gender equity.

We celebrate International Women’s Day with Drs. Suraya Dalil and Florence Guillaume, Ministers of Health from Afghanistan and Haiti.

Watch their video message to women around the world:

We pay homage to the women who have come before us; we stand on their shoulders. We acknowledge their courage, sacrifice, and commitment, allowing women today to dream of a future with more possibilities for next generations of women and girls.

We celebrate International Women’s Day with African women leaders, including Catherine Namugala, Saudatu Sani, and Thandi Shongwe, members of parliaments of Zambia, Nigeria, and Swaziland.

We remember that this celebration does not mark the end of a struggle to achieve global gender equality, but a time for recommitment.

We chart a new beginning.

We recommit ourselves to take on the challenges which prevent women from achieving their full potential and having the opportunity for a healthy life.

As a female leader, I have continued to face challenges simply because I am a woman. My advice to future women leaders is to believe in themselves and not be discouraged by those who think that because they are born women, they cannot aspire to positions of leadership.

~Catherine Namugala, Member of Parliament in Zambia

We remember the progress and give thanks.

We acknowledge the challenges that lie ahead. We boldly face institutionalized struggles—conditions of poverty and inequalities entrenched in patriarchal systems which dominate our landscape. 

Some say, “How can a woman represent us?”

~Saudatu Sani, Member of Parliament in Nigeria

We capitalize on opportunities--privileged to work in health systems strengthening where investing in women produces great dividends. We create partnerships and alliances, and mentor new generations of women.

Women need courage to go into leadership positions and look at themselves differently than the way society looks at them.

~Thandi Shongwe, Member of Parliament in Swaziland

We address the health of a nation, a region, a whole community, and a family, by addressing the health needs of women and girls.  

[My priority is] a world where no woman or young girl suffers abuse simply because of her gender. A world where no woman dies in childbirth because those in decision-making positions have not accorded women’s health the attention it deserves.


International Women’s Day is so many things that we wonder why we are confined to one day… Every day should be International Women’s Day. We say: Celebrate women every day!

How will you celebrate International Women's Day and inspire change?

How are you celebrating women health leaders and inspiring change? Who do you celebrate? Who inspires change? Women leaders like Dalil, Guillaume, and Namugala? Your mother, sister, daughter, mentor? Tell me in the blog comments or tag on Facebook or " href="" data-cke-saved-href="">Twitter with hashtags , , and .


Wango Francis
She is a retired educationist, with more than 30 years of work especially with children in the nursery and primary schools, selflessly nurturing, educating and grooming these young ones. She is active in the women's ministry of the Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC), having been president of the CBC Women's Union for 15 years. She has used this opportunity to spearhead women's emancipation and gender equality campaigns nationwide. She has been vice president and member of international Baptist bodies, ensuring transfer of knowledge, culture and ideas as well as enhancing north-south and south-south collaboration. On this day the 8th March 2014, she is one of the principal organizers of the International Women's Day activities in Wum, Menchum Division of the North West Region of Cameroon. And to crown it all, she received a call yesterday evening informing her that the governor of the North West Region will give her an Excellence Award during the celebrations at the provincial headquarters Bamenda. If there is one woman I know who has been a latent influence on the lives of the underprivileged, it is MY MOTHER (Monica Wango).

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