If you're a mama like me it likely won't be easy to "give up" Mother's Day this year (or any year for that matter). I know there are mothers out there who don't mind not celebrating but, for me, giving up coffee in bed and the freedom to tell everyone to leave you alone while you attend to the important work of reading magazines in your pajamas and watching reruns of Mad Men sounds unacceptable.
But it's not. What's unacceptable is that there are thousands of women dying every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth--one woman every 90 seconds, according to Every Mother Counts. 200 million women who want access to contraception don't have it and can't plan for when they do or don't get pregnant. These are urgent issues. So, I've decided to "raise my voice through an act of silence" on Sunday, May 13th and hand Mother's Day over to the women I refuse to let die. Cards and flowers sound less important when you think about those who desperately need access to the tools they need to plan for the families they want and care for the children they have.
Every Mother Counts is encouraging all mothers to "go silent" that day. Don't accept emails or gifts. Instead, encourage the people you love to donate to organizations which help level these inequities for women and children or to simply spread the word that we must change the world.
Writing on the ONE blog, Christy Turlington Burns (the founder of Every Mother Counts) explains,
"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."
If "giving up" Mother's Day is not your thing here are four other ways you can make a difference on behalf of women and children on Mother's Day:
Shot@Life - Help save 1000 children's lives through needed immunizations by Mother's Day this year!
UNICEF - You can save lives by purchasing a gift that makes a difference. From an $18 mosquito net to protect against malaria, to an $1800 "Midwifery Kit" that would provide a maternity ward with all the tools it needs to help 50 women deliver their babies safely, there are so many ways to help.
CARE's Every Child Deserves a Fifth Birthday campaign - Of course every child deserves to live until and beyond their fifth birthday. But for millions of children around the world, a fifth birthday is something they'll never get to celebrate.
Save the Children's "What Moms Wish For" campaign- What do moms around the world wish for? Find out in this moving video - and then donate to help make sure these wishes come true.
Need some further inspiration? Really?? Okay, then. How about this gorgeous video from foundation partner, Jhpiego, on why midwives matter (hint: because they save women's lives):