10 Fair Trade Gifts for Mother’s Day

What better way to give thanks to mom then by giving her something beautiful and with a sincere message!

Our mother’s day picks are all handmade, fairly traded and support local mothers and their families.

We source products from organizations like Mercado Global and Swahili Imports that work with local communities to produce beautiful, high quality and sustainable crafts to increase livelihoods of their artists. Your gift would not only be in celebration of your own mother, but also a contribution to other mothers and their families!

And feel free to explore more free trade items on our online store. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Maternal Health Key To Empowering Women

By Amnesty’s Women’s Human Rights Coordination Group

Next week, we’ll be concluding our Mother’s Day blog series by looking at the international dimensions of maternal mortality.  Today we’d like to focus on maternal health as a key to empowering women worldwide.

Globally, motherless children are 10 times more likely to die within two years of their mothers’ death.  A mother’s health and nutrition, what care and assistance she received during her pregnancy and delivery determined whether she and you are alive today, and whether you are battling with developmental problems, birth defects, or illnesses, including perinatal HIV.

Every 90 seconds a woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. This is 1,000 women, or more than 2 filled-to-capacity jumbo jets crashing daily.  Amnesty International considers this a human rights scandal, not only because almost all of these deaths are preventable, but because they are the culmination of abuses and discrimination against women, from insufficient access to basic healthcare, lack of comprehensive family planning and reproductive healthcare services, early marriages, gender-based violence, to inadequate redress.

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Tell Congress: Pass Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011

On Sunday you called your mom. Today, call on your elected officials to protect maternal health.

This Wednesday, May 11, a Mother’s Day briefing on Capitol Hill will shine a light on the maternal health care crisis in the United States. Featured guest Christy Turlington Burns, maternal health advocate and director of No Woman No Cry, will join Amnesty International researcher Nan Strauss and others to advocate for the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2011.

Drafted to address some of the most pressing recommendations in Amnesty International’s report on maternal mortality in the US, Deadly Delivery, this innovative bipartisan legislation would:

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Christy Turlington Burns: Shining A Light On Maternal Health

Christy Turlington Burns is a mom, global maternal health advocate, author, filmmaker, public health student, yogi and model. Her directorial debut, No Woman No Cry, shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including the United States.

Join Amnesty International house parties to watch the film’s broadcast premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network this Saturday, May 7 (the night before Mother’s Day), at 9:30 ET/PT and again on May 8 at 1pm ET/PT.

We spoke with Christy recently about her work to improve maternal health worldwide:

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This World Health Day, Shine a Light on Maternal Health

Pregnant women at a maternity waiting house in northern Sierra Leone, where they can stay fom the ninth month of pregnancy until their babies are delivered.

Today is World Health Day – and you can celebrate by shining a light on maternal health!

World Health Day marks the anniversary of the founding, in 1948, of the World Health Organization, whose constitution – signed by all 193 Members of the United Nations — states that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

Preventable deaths in pregnancy and childbirth are violations of the right to health, and the right to freedom from discrimination due to gender, race, ethnicity, immigration status, or income level. Maternal mortality is not just a public health emergency – it is a human rights crisis.

Every 90 seconds, another woman dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth – that’s 1,000 women every day, more than 350,000 each year. The vast majority of these deaths could be prevented, and ninety-nine percent happen in the developing world — the greatest disparity between developed and developing countries of any global health issue.

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Make It the Best Mother's Day!

Ground-breaking legislation that could help end violence against women around the world is currently in Senator Kerry’s hands – just in time for mother’s day.   What a great gift it would make to mothers and women everywhere if that legislation became reality.

The International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) is an unprecedented effort by the United States to address violence against women globally.  One out of every three women worldwide will be physically or sexually abused during her lifetime.  Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights. Violence and abuse devastates the lives of millions of women, knows no national or cultural barriers, and most importantly, it must be stopped.

Amnesty International worked with a coalition of supporters and partners to draft IVAWA.  Last week, we sent Senators Kerry and Lugar, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a final draft of the legislation.  Now, it’s up to them to say “yes” to ending violence against women – walk the bill over to the floor of the Senate and reintroduce it this week before Mother’s Day, May 10th.

If you want to make it the best mother’s day ever, let Senators Kerry and Lugar know you think ending violence against women should be a priority by taking action right now.  Then send a special Mother’s Day ecard to your family and friends encouraging them to take action with you.

Thanks for defending the rights of mothers and daughters everywhere!