Today, mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to unveil our official anniversary celebration—She’s Got The Power. Running from the 28th of September to the 15th of October, and encompassing m2m’s official 20th birthday on the 4th of October, She’s Got The Power will celebrate 20 years of remarkable impact and change that m2m Mentor Mothers—the incredible women living with HIV employed by m2m as frontline health workers—have delivered for themselves and their communities since our founding in 2001.
We are inviting our supporters to join us in celebrating this milestone, with three weeks of powerful human stories, brand new impact data, and engaging content.
Why? Every single m2m Mentor Mother is part of a new generation of African female leaders who are shattering norms and creating a ripple effect of health and change in their communities. Not only have they reached over 13.5M people with critical health services and education across a dozen African nations over the last 20 years—they are also paving a new path for a generation of women and girls by passing on health, agency, and power.
Indeed, She’s Got The Power to break barriers and transform a generation!
There are many ways that you can get involved in She’s Got The Power, and here are just a few of them:
- Thank health workers: Join us in creating a wave of gratitude on social media for m2m Mentor Mothers and all health workers by sharing your own message of thanks, using #ShesGotThePower and tagging m2m on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn! Download the image here.
- Make a gift: to support Mentor Mothers to continue to make the impossible, possible!
- Learn more: Subscribe to our mailing list to learn about the challenges women in sub-Saharan Africa face, and find out how you can support grassroots, female leadership.
- Become a campaign partner: Join The Webster and OOMLA, who share our vision of a healthier and more equitable future for women and girls and are partnering with us to raise both awareness and vital funds.
Why She’s Got The Power and why now?
“As a woman, I faced several challenges in my culture and experienced stigma. I overcame the barriers by seeing Mentor Mothers living a productive life. I am now able to support other women who might feel like their lives have come to an end, by sharing my own personal journey to empower them, and bring them out of any fear and stressful situation.” – Ruth Adhiambo, m2m Community Mentor Mother in Kenya
Ruth is one of the over 11,000 local women living with HIV employed by m2m as frontline health workers since 2001 across a dozen nations who have unlocked economic empowerment for themselves, and delivering transformational health outcomes for communities.
But while huge strides have been made, still too many women are denied the autonomy to decide what is best for them. The campaign will inspire audiences to be part of this change, to tackle three types of enduring, unacceptable, and antiquated barriers and gender norms that still universally affect women:
- Cultural and societal barriers—Entrenched and perpetuated cultural and gender norms mean that too many women still do not feel like they have a say over their own health and life choices.
- Fewer than half of women in sub-Saharan Africa aged 15 to 49 years feel like they can make their own decisions regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights (UNFPA).
- Access to quality healthcare barriers—Even if they felt they could access the services they need, critically stretched and under-resourced health centres mean women are struggling to access vital lifesaving care and sexual and reproductive health services.
- 2 out of 3 mothers who die during pregnancy or birth are located in sub-Saharan Africa. (UNICEF)
- Economic barriers—Women are still too often left on the fringes and side-lines of society, their contribution not always recognised or valued.
- In Africa, women spend 3.4 more time in unpaid care work than men (ILO).
Health workers like m2m Mentor Mothers are pushing back these deeply rooted barriers and creating agency for women across sub-Saharan Africa. For the last 20 years, they have been making the impossible possible:
- It was impossible for women living with HIV to be seen as community health leaders—She’s made that possible.
- It was impossible to see an end to the spread of HIV infections—She’s made that happen.
- It was impossible for women to imagine a healthy, more equal future—She’s made that a reality.
But we still have a long way to go to go to ensure that we end HIV/AIDS, guarantee health for all, and push for gender equality before 2030. That is why we need as many people as possible to join the movement, and take the first step in ensuring the power of women as community health leaders is recognised around the world.
Be part of this change—join She’s Got The Power today.