"Strong, determined, and resilient" is how Meryl Streep describes Donor Direct Action. As 2021 comes to a close, amidst the great challenges we are all facing we find there is much to be thankful for. The international women's movement continues to grow in numbers and strength. As more young women join this effort bringing their passion and conviction, our voices are being heard more and we are witnessing the powerful effect.
While over the years our African partners have made so much progress in their efforts to end female genital mutilation (FGM), this harmful practice continues, often with tragic results. Last week we learned of the death of 21-year-old Maseray Sei in Sierra Leone, after she was cut and bled to death. Our partner in Sierra Leone, Amazonian Initiative Movement (AIM), is again calling for a ban on FGM - a practice intended to subjugate women that causes lifelong physical and psychological harm, and death. AIM is determined to end FGM and with your help they can save lives.
Our Latin American partners have made much progress in their efforts to secure reproductive rights, in a region where the criminalization of abortion has taken the lives of countless girls and women. Last year Argentina decriminalized abortion, and this year a court in Mexico ruled that the criminalization of abortion is unconstitutional. Colombia is close to removing abortion from its penal code, and Chile is debating easing restrictions. Our partners ORMUSA and Manuela Ramos are engaged in the campaign for reproductive rights in El Salvador and Peru, respectively. As we watch those rights being curtailed here in the United States, it gives us hope to see the rest of the Americas moving forward.
It is easy to feel helpless at times in the face of so many challenges, but our partners continue to inspire us. As the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan rolled back the many rights that have been gained for women and girls, Afghan women are fighting back. We have seen courageous demonstrations on streets throughout the country, and we are committed to supporting the Afghan women leaders who are speaking out despite the risk to them and their families.
Meryl Streep has helped women around the world fight for their rights and for a better future for all. Please take a moment to hear why she supports Donor Direct Action (see link above).
With our deepest gratitude, we thank you for your support and wish all of you a healthy and happy New Year!