It just seems wrong that in the 21st century we still need to address the issue of violence against women and children. You would think that by now the world would recognize that women who are safe, nourished, healthy, respected, and educated are a valuable asset to the global community. They also make wonderful mothers who are able to instill the same values in their children.

That said, beginning next Sunday, women from around the globe will gather in New York City for the 57th Annual United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and I am humbled and honored to have been invited to share my voice. Together we will address the concerns of women from the United States to Iceland to Romania to Kenya and beyond. Organizations from over 100 countries will share their successful initiatives and devise plans for future legal and social reform.

Sizani Ngubane

My participation is as the American Ambassador for the Rural Women’s Movement of South Africa. Ever since living with the Zulu and experiencing the women’s lives up close and personal – you can read all about it in my memoir, RUBY’S WORLD – I have been compelled to work on their behalf.

Sizani Ngubane, the Executive Director of the RWM, is coming from Durban, South Africa. Next Saturday night we’ll meet in person for the first time and I’m so excited I can hardly sleep. I imagine we’ll stay up late drinking tea, sharing gifts, and catching up on all the news from KwaZulu-Natal.

During the course of our time together, Sizani and I will present the urgent issues that rural South African women face: AIDS, starvation, being sold into brutal “marriages” and tribal rule that doesn’t conform to the post-Apartheid constitution. We’ll also work to create projects to empower the women she serves and the children I love.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting stories from the 57th CSW. I hope you’ll share the adventure with me by reading along and adding your comments to the discussion.

Your support is important to me, to the women of KwaZulu-Natal, and to women around the world who want a stable, safe life.

What can you do to help? Share this blog across your social media and with your friends who care.

And when you think of us over the next few weeks … hold us with the intention that our efforts make a difference.