Take a Pledge for Mothers Everywhere This International Women's Day

Tomorrow, March 8, is International Women's Day. It's a day marked all over the world to celebrate the achievements, contributions and talents of women. It's a day to think about the past and remember the incredible women who came before us -- our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. And it's a day to think about the future, and how we want the world to look for mothers and mothers-to-be all over the world.

That's why today I'm joining Christy Turlington Burns and the Every Mother Counts campaign to take a pledge for mothers all over the world. The online pledge is a response to the dire statistic that, globally, a woman dies every 90 seconds due to a complication of pregnancy or childbirth. Most of these deaths are preventable.

Today, I'm adding my name to a list of women who are standing up for the rights of women everywhere to have a safe pregnancy and birth. Each one of us -- whether we're in the United States, Ghana, India or Nepal -- is saying that we will hold our government accountable to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal number 5, which committed the world to decreasing the number of maternal deaths by 2015. Sadly, of all the eight Millennium Development Goals this one has made the least progress. Like Christy Turlington Burns, I think it's time to say that women and mothers matter and that we need to get this goal back on track. Every signature will be presented to the UN General Assembly in New York this September.

As Christy says in this message that accompanies the online pledge, every needless death of a mother deprives the world of love. It deprives a child of a mother, a family of a loved one and a community of an incredible force for stability, leadership and change.

If you do just one thing to celebrate International Women's Day today, take the maternal health pledge and show your commitment to the health, leadership and empowerment of mothers all over the world.

Share the pledge with the women and mothers who most inspire you. Let's make this International Women's Day a true celebration of the power and potential of mothers everywhere!

The Maternal Health pledge is part of MAMA: Motherhood Around the Globe, an global online exhibition that highlights the experiences, stories, art and ideas of mothers all over the world. You can learn more about maternal health in the exhibition's current gallery, "Healthy Mama, Healthy Baby".