One Woman Can

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The One Woman Can campaign was launched in 2007 by Americans for UNFPA to raise awareness among Americans that the U.S. is the only country that has ever withheld money from UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, for political reasons and to draw attention to the urgent need for Congress and the President to prioritize women’s health and rights. Since 2002, the Bush Administration has withheld $161 million from women everywhere. As a direct result, the Administration’s actions severely compromise the health and dignity of women everywhere.

UNFPA provides women’s health care and promotes the rights of women worldwide. It is the largest international source of such assistance. As the official committee for UNFPA in the United States, Americans for UNFPA generates awareness of UNFPA’s work, fundraises for field programs and advocates for U.S. policies in support of UNFPA.

The One Woman Can campaign calls on Americans, especially women, to take action to ensure the health and dignity of women everywhere. The campaign features many actions, including writing to Congressmen urging them to support the Women’s Health and Dignity Act and signing the Release the Funds petition to President Bush.



The campaign launched on June 5, 2007 by urging Americans to ask their members of Congress to sign-on to the International Women’s Health and Dignity Act.

Championed by U.S. Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY), the International Women’s Health and Dignity Act will restore U.S. moral and political support for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund’s efforts to combat some of the most intractable problems endured by women. The Act will show that U.S. leadership believes in the work of UNFPA.

“Voters and constituents play a vital role in improving the health and dignity of women,” says Anika Rahman, President, Americans for UNFPA. “Wherever a woman lives, whatever her economic status, whether she is a giver or a receiver of help, she can take some action, large or small, on behalf of UNFPA and women everywhere.”


Though the U.S. was instrumental in forming UNFPA, it has withheld funding to UNFPA since 2002. Each year Congress allocates roughly $40 million from the federal budget to fund UNFPA, but because of a loophole in the law, President Bush is able to block the funding from UNFPA. In the last 5 years, a total of $161 million was withheld from UNFPA, funding that could have prevented hundreds of thousands of maternal deaths and allowed millions of women to delay their first or next pregnancy. So far, the petition has collected over 2,400 signatures.

Online engagement[edit]

The One Woman Can Campaign utilizes the Internet as a major tool in helping Americans take action for its cause. The campaign created Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Flickr and accounts, as well as established a relationship with RH Reality Check, an online community and publication serving individuals and organizations committed to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights. Anika Rahman, the President of Americans for UNFPA, contributes a weekly blog post to the site.

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