On March 8th, 2011, thousands of men and women will meet on bridges as part of the "Join Me on the Bridge" campaign in 29 countries to show that there can be no sustainable peace unless the voices of women are heard. It will be more than a powerful statement: March 8th is also International Women's Day, so hopefully the two together will create a dialogue about what we can do to help women both in places of conflict and at home. Women for Women International run the Join Me on the Bridge Campaign and, in their time on the ground in Afghanistan since 2002, have helped over 20,000 women and their families. The organization also works in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sudan.
In Afghanistan, 85 percent of the female residents have no formal education, and their average salary is 48 cents a day, so it's easy to understand why WfWI has focused their efforts there. "Women in Afghanistan must be fully included in the peace negotiations. Peace without women doesn't stand a chance, and the time to build peace is now - before the troops start withdrawing in June 2011." Says Kate Nustedt, Executive Director, Women for Women International UK.
To find a Join Me on the Bridge event near you, click here for WfWI's map of locations.