Secretary Clinton says women’s health “must be at the top of the agenda”

To watch video or read full text of Secretary Clinton’s remarks on global women’s health, click here.

If you live the United States, you see them everywhere: pink ribbons on t-shirts, hats, cars and even on professional football players’ jerseys. But breast cancer – and other women-specific cancers – is indeed a global epidemic.

A new initiative that combines resources from several government and corporate entities aims to combat these health issues in developing countries. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently helped launch the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon campaign in Washington, D.C., heavily emphasizing the importance of women’s health.

“If we want to make progress on some of the toughest challenges we face in global health—fighting HIV, preventing childhood deaths, improving nutrition, stopping malaria, and more—then investing in women must be at the top of the agenda,” Secretary Clinton said in her remarks. She went on to highlight the crucial matriarchal role women play in developing countries, providing labor, food and child care for their families.

“The conclusion is clear that if we want to make a difference when it comes to investing in health, then we must invest in women,” she said.

A secondary objective of the campaign is to prevent new cases of HIV, which has been shown to increase the risk of cervical cancer. Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon will be focused on developing areas of the world, with partners working with local governments to provide cancer screenings, education and human papilloma virus vaccines.

Joining forces on Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon are a variety of partners, including the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the United Nations and various pharmaceutical companies that will provide vaccines to regions in need. An initial focus will be on sub-Saharan Africa.

What do you think it will take to reduce levels of women-specific cancers in developing countries? What additional regions do you feel direly need these services, outside sub-Saharan Africa?