Barbara Bush and Melinda Gates - Ebola and Women Empowerment
Photo credit: Kefa Ab Menaughk Ma’at

According to Newsweek, approximately 14,413 people are still infected by the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, which include Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. “We’re living in such a globally connected world that what happens in Liberia, what happens in Sierra Leone impacts the entire world.” Bush said. “We have to care about what’s happening in West Africa because it affects what’s happening in the rest of the world.”

At a time when efforts are being made to ensure that women and girls are allowed the same privileges and rights as the men and boys. It is urgently important for nations to also address the impact of health crisis on women empowerment. At a recent women’s health event, Barbara Bush and Melinda Gates warned of the impact of the Ebola epidemic on women’s health and women empowerment.

Melinda Gates is the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. Barbara Bush is the daughter of former U.S. President George W. Bush and she is the co-founder of Global Health Corps (GHC), a nonprofit organization with a mission “to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity.”

Bush and Gates called for a collaborative effort to help address the Ebola crisis in West Africa. The impact of Ebola on women empowerment includes Maternal Health – as several mothers fear exposing their newborn to an Ebola impacted hospital, which can increase the likelihood of child immortality. This can also be attribute to the limited access to prenatal and postnatal care for mothers and newborns outside of the hospital. There’s also an increasing impact of Ebola on Education – because of the prevalence of fear of contracting the virus, most parents refused to send their children to school in spite of the recent progress made to encourage girls to further their education. Read “How Ebola Impedes Women’s Empowerment in West Africa” to learn more about the impact of Ebola on women.

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The Global Connections for Women foundation (GC4W) joins the list of organizations working to bring a greater awareness to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa – and hoping for a more immediate evaluation of potential treatments. One such organization with an online campaign is Bono’s ONE Organization. The Ebola: Waiting video campaign include Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Bono, Angelique Kudjo, Ellie Goulding, Will Farrell, ICE Prince and several others.

Together we can help defeat the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

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