WASHINGTON, April 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- As the House and Senate prepare to vote on the 2011 budget and enter tough negotiations over the 2012 budget, 14 women Members of Congress are fasting this week in protest against severe budget cuts that would disproportionately target the poor and the hungry at home and abroad.
Hungerfast, an effort launched March 28 by former Congressman and Ambassador Tony Hall along with three other organizations including Women Thrive Worldwide, now has over 35,000 Americans involved in fasting, including 28 Members of Congress. Fasters are demanding that the budget deficit not be resolved by slashing programs targeting the vulnerable at a time of economic distress. In particular, Women Thrive co-launched this effort to draw attention to the severe cuts being proposed for poverty-focused international assistance programs, which will largely hurt women and girls globally. Women are the majority of the poor and 60 percent of the hungry worldwide.
"Members of Congress are taking a stand against balancing our budget on the backs of the poor, and I applaud them for it," said Ritu Sharma, Co-Founder and President of Women Thrive Worldwide, one of the four CEOs who launched Hungerfast. "Poverty-focused international assistance costs less than one percent of our budget and slashing it does little to close the deficit. These cuts are indefensible because they are truly cuts that kill."
The women Members of Congress fasting this week are Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Susan Davis (D-CA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Donna Edwards (D-MD), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Laura Richardson (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
SOURCE Women Thrive Worldwide