Model, mom and Every Mother Counts founder Christy Turlington Burns explains why she wants moms to skip Mother’s Day this year:
I’m Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts and proud member of ONE. I’ve been on these pages before, blogging about my travels and the work we’ve done together on behalf of human rights around the world. I started Every Mother Counts in 2010 because I was tired of hearing the same shocking statistics about the hundreds of thousands women who die each year from complications caused by pregnancy and childbirth despite the fact that almost 90 percent of them are preventable — using currently available technology, skills, drugs and equipment.
Our new video on “No Mother’s Day.”
This year, in thinking about how to gear up our campaign at a time when people think about mothers the most, we felt we could all use a wake up call. That’s why this week we are launching “No Mothers Day.” The campaign centers around a video featuring moms encouraging other moms to join in solidarity by disappearing on May 13th, and by doing so, we will show everyone just how much a mother is missed when she is gone.
What does it mean to participate? Check out our Facebook page and see what works best for you. As a mom, you can choose to “go silent” and message your friends and family that you won’t be answering calls or emails or posting your status; you can change your profile picture in your timeline to inform your friends that you’ve disappeared or you can ask that instead of gifts, your family make a donation to support maternal health programs or that they purchase products that generate donations. If you’re not a mom, you can still play a big part by sharing the video widely, by talking about the issue with your networks and think about what the women in your life who are moms mean to you.
I believe maternal health is a human rights issue — it’s about equity between rich and poor but also equity for women. And I believe that if we CAN address maternal health, we will see true gains in some of our other common goals — improving access to education, improving immunization coverage and child survival rates and even improving countries’ chances of economic growth and improving democratic processes.
I hope that this video will get people to stop for a moment and take the information in. 1,000 women will die this Mother’s Day, and each day of every year going forward until we say “Enough!”
If this information is shocking, as it should be, I hope you will come to everymothercounts.org to learn more and find a way to become a part of the solution. And going forward, that’s what we hope to be — a resource and a source of inspiration to get people involved in a variety of ways. Whether it be by raising your voice to policymakers with partners like ONE, or running a marathon or buying a product that generates resources for maternal health like the great new Every Mother Counts 2012 CD that came out on May 1, we hope to continually offer ways to be a part of the solution.
So please, watch the video, share it with your friends and join us for No Mothers Day. There aren’t many solvable problems out there — this is one of them. But only solvable if we make it a priority.