Mother’s Day hasn’t always been about gifts, flowers and candy, and although many of us may think it was created as a marketing ploy by the greeting card industry, days of tribute in honor of mothers, can actually be traced back to the Greeks and ancient Romans. In fact, Mother’s Day in the United States, was established about 150 years ago by woman you should know, Anna Jarvis, an Appalachian homemaker who organized the day to raise awareness of the poor health conditions in her community, which she believed would gain attention with the support of mothers. It was called “Mother’s Work Day”. Over the decades, the original meaning of the holiday has become somewhat lost with over commercialization, but it was with the original spirit of “Mother’s Work Day” that Mothers Day Every Day was founded.
Mothers Day Every Day is a campaign dedicated to global health for moms and newborns. Founded in 2009 by White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA) and CARE, two organizations leading global women’s health issues, Mothers Day Every Day calls attention to the devastating statistics of maternal mortality that plague developing countries around the world – every minute, a woman dies in pregnancy or childbirth. Maternal mortality and childbirth remain the leading killers of young women worldwide and account for more than 500,000 deaths of women each year.
We all know the value that mothers play in our own lives, but mothers also play an essential role in the overall health and economic stability of the world and its communities. Maintaining an expecting mother’s health is critical to the health of her child and to the security and stability of her community. The global maternal mortality facts are staggering. Mothers Day Every Day is raising awareness and calling on U.S. leadership to strengthen global health systems and increase the numbers of health workers in the communities of developing countries where women die for lack of care.
While there are small signs of progress being made in the fight to save the lives of these thousands of women, the need for greater access to life-saving interventions remains a priority. Led by Former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary, Donna Shalala and Ann Veneman, Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Mothers Day Every Day has brought together some of the world’s most recognized leaders to bring their voices to this issue, with the goal of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015.
As this Mother’s Day approaches, and we celebrate the women who gave us life, we’d like to take a moment to honor all of the women you should know who have, and continue to make the commitment to an entire future generation of mothers and children. Mothers and those of us who love them can make it happen!