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This week marks International Women’s Day 2014. On Friday, the Bush Institute will celebrate by welcoming our newest class of the Women’s Initiative Fellowship, 17 aspiring female leaders from Tunisia. On Thursday, the 2013 class of Fellows from Egypt will participate in a special commencement ceremony recognizing their year of hard work and incredible accomplishments. All of the Fellows are strong women with specific plans for improving the future of their countries, and they represent the importance of empowering women worldwide.
A recent article in The Economist looks at the devastation of cancer in developing countries. “According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation (WHO), low- and middle income countries accounted for 57% of the 14 million people diagnosed with cancer worldwide in 2012—but 65% of the deaths,” it says. While cancer kills more people in developing countries than AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined, it receives only a fraction of the aid, according to the article. The author suggests smaller gains could be made through HPV immunizations and spotting cancer in patients earlier – which is exactly what Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon at the Bush Institute is doing. By building upon existing health platforms, infrastructure and resources, the public-private partnership brings cervical cancer prevention, screenings, treatment, breast cancer education, and access to HPV vaccinations to women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. The program aims to reduce deaths from cervical cancer and breast cancer in developing nations, and it’s working.
This week, President Bush met with brave defectors in Seoul who escaped brutal oppression in North Korea. The Bush Institute’s Human Freedom initiative spotlights the vast suffering and atrocities in the country from victims including Shin Dong-hyuk, the only known North Korean prison camp survivor. An editorial in The Christian Science Monitor recently called for international attention and greater support for those suffering under the brutal regime. “No action on North Korea is without risk, but inaction has only brought mass atrocities, weapons proliferation, and emboldened criminal behavior. Our collective inaction has allied us with the oppressor, not the oppressed. Now we have the chance to get on the right side of history, and to speed the day when children might be born free in North Korea,” writes the author.
Brittney Bain serves as the Director of Communications for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Prior to joining the Bush Center, she worked on Capitol Hill where she served most recently as deputy press secretary for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary. Bain interned in the White House Office of Communications during the George W. Bush Administration.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and her master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.Full Bio