Last night I had the privilege of moderating a fantastic interactive conference call with Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Melanne Verveer—the first-ever U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. The call was a great opportunity to speak directly with ONE members about the fight against global poverty, including our new initiative Women ONE2ONE. As I said on the call, we may be faced with overwhelming statistics about the inordinate burden poverty places on women, but it’s most important that we focus on the more positive fact—that women are one of the best investments in global development and are really key to improving education, healthcare, agriculture and economic progress in communities across the developing world.
It was really an honor to get to hear firsthand from Melinda and Melanne about why they’ve personally become engaged on these issues and to hear about steps they’re taking through the Gates Foundation and the U.S. government to address them. During the call, more than 4,000 ONE members from all over the country had the chance to ask questions directly and to participate in real time via a live Facebook feed. We got some great comments and questions. In case you missed the call, you can listen to it in full below.
Ambassador Melanne Verveer:
PS- During the call, I mentioned a petition ONE members can sign right now, encouraging our senators to sign on to a letter calling for the Senate Budget Committee to uphold President Obama’s $58.5 billion International Affairs Budget. You can add your voice here.