100th anniversary of International Women's Day - 8 March 2011

Award winner Midwife Than Than Oo from Myanmar
© GHWA/OnAsia/L.Duggleby
Award winner Midwife Than Than Oo from Myanmar

Geneva, 8 March 2011 | On the occasion of the 100th celebration of International Women's Day celebrated today, the Alliance would like to recognize women around the world who dedicate their lives to improving health in their communities, and to call for more investment and commitment in strengthening the health workforce to reduce maternal and child deaths.

Dr Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director, said, "The Global Health Workforce Alliance has recently commended several women for their outstanding contributions to health. We are proud to highlight these remarkable women and the positive difference they are making for men, women and children in their communities".

Daw Nan Than Than Oo, a midwife from Myanmar received a Special Recognition Award at the Second Global Forum on HRH in Bangkok in January 2011. Several other outstanding women health workers were shortlisted for the Awards: Collette Botchomoli, a matron from DRC; Pera Dorapage Lalitha Padmini, a midwife from Sri Lanka; Leochrist Shali Mwanyumba, a nurse from Kenya; Dr Wang Tangyao, a doctor from China; and Ho Thi Thanh Hoa, a Community Health Worker from Viet Nam.

The year 2010 marked a milestone, placing women's and children's health at the centre of the global development agenda: it was the main topic of the Women Deliver and Countdown conferences, the African Union summit of Heads of States and a key focus of the G8 meeting and UN High Level Summit on the MDGs, where the UN Secretary General launched the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health.

The Alliance calls on its members and partners to maintain women's health at the top of their agendas and keep their commitments to reduce maternal and child mortality.