Pathfinder Congratulates New Secretary of State John Kerry, Supports Focus on Women and Girls
Pathfinder International congratulates John Kerry on his confirmation to serve as the next US Secretary of State. As a Massachusetts-based organization, we thank Secretary Kerry for his strong leadership on the importance of foreign affairs during his time as Senator and Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as for his support of women’s health and rights.
This week, Secretary Kerry welcomed news of President Barack Obama's new Presidential Memorandum calling for better coordination of US policies and programs to address gender inequality worldwide, echoing his own support for such efforts.
“In the Senate I've made promoting the rights of women and girls a priority, not just because it's the right thing to do, but because societies that empower the talents of their entire populations are more stable and more prosperous," he said.
In a time of fiscal austerity, it is more important than ever that the United States invests in and demonstrates leadership on programs that strengthen national security, promote human rights, and foster global economic growth. Foreign assistance—especially international family planning and reproductive health—is a strategic and cost-effective investment.
"President Obama’s nomination of Senator Kerry demonstrated his belief that the United States should engage with and lead global partners in the areas of human rights and development. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was an unwavering champion for women and girls, as well as for sexual and reproductive health and rights, who had asserted that ‘reproductive rights are human rights,’” said Pathfinder President Purnima Mane. "We look forward to collaborating with Secretary Kerry on key sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, and hope that he will continue US leadership on these issues going forward."
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Nearly two dozen health, advocacy, and faith groups are calling on President Barack Obama to take executive action clarifying that U.S. assistance can be used to fund abortion services for women and girls raped in the context of war and conflict.
A video provides a snapshot of Pathfinder International’s Health of People and Environment in Lake Victoria Basin project, an integrated population, health, and environment project supported by MacArthur. The project aims to reduce threats to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem degradation in the Lake Victoria Basin while increasing access to family planning and sexual and reproductive health services.