I think one way the US — by way of the White House — can retake a leadership role in promoting international family planning and women’s health during this time of global economic crisis is to build a small army of Social Change Volunteers who would be a modern version of Peace Corp volunteers. And one possible market for volunteers are students, those who want to take a semester abroad, those who aren’t finding work in this economy and may consider taking time abroad or even mid-career workers who want to be involved in social change.
Sponsored by the White House, it could be implemented by the UN, but have the signature of the President or the First Lady, much the way JFK kicked off the Peace Corps. The work would focus on fighting poverty by raising the status of women, empowering with training or funds or organization to help them manage their families, the way numerous very good on-the-ground programs are operating.
This post is part of the After the Gag Rule salon hosted by RH Reality Check and UN Dispatch.