Plan International USA welcomes the announcement on International Women’s Day that Vice President Kamala Harris will make her United Nations debut as U.S. vice president next week when she addresses the UN’s 65th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In concert with the leadership of the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the Vice-President’s presence at CSW demonstrates the renewed American commitment to global gender equality at the very highest levels.
Plan believes this sends a clear signal to allies and critics of global gender equality that the United States will once lend its full weights to this vital agenda. It also exemplifies to the Congress and agencies across the US Government that the empowerment of girls and women is vital to America’s elected leadership and national security.
That priority was reinforced by President Biden’s announcement of the formation of a White House Council on Gender Equality, which the President said will “ensure that every domestic and foreign policy we pursue rests on a foundation of dignity and equity for women.”
Both of these steps were called for in the policy platform of the Big Ideas for Women and Girls Coalition that Plan co-chairs and were promoted by a wide range of our colleagues in the gender advocacy community. These major policy advances were an excellent way to mark International Women’s Day 2021.
Plan also celebrated International Women’s Day by launching our campaign to reduce period poverty and stigma in the United States. A policy event co-organized with Always and P&G featured Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) and a panel of youth activists and the Global Social Impact Director for Always/P&G. They discussed a number of initiatives to reduce period poverty, including Rep. Meng’s Menstrual Equity for All Act. They also announced the launch of Plan’s social media campaign to reduce period stigma, #It’s Normal Period, which will continue through Menstrual Hygiene Management Day on May 28th.