More Than 1,000 Advocates Gather, Call for Global Investments in Women and Girls During CARE's Conference and International Women's Day Celebration

Mar 09, 2011, 07:30 ET from CARE

Former First Lady Laura Bush, Melinda Gates, Helene Gayle, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Rep. Kay Granger and others to address CARE advocates

WASHINGTON, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than a thousand CARE advocates gather today at CARE's Conference and International Women's Day Celebration in Washington, D.C. to voice their support for critical funding and programs to improve the lives of marginalized women and girls around the globe. CARE's annual conference brings together advocates from nearly every state, partner organizations, corporations and leaders in global health, media and politics to advocate for the vital need for foreign assistance funding, the importance of quality education for girls and the significance of economic opportunities for women.

"Over the past century, women have broken through barriers to achieve political, economic and social advances never before imagined. Yet, there are still many places where gender defines a person's ability to reach their full potential," said CARE President and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle. "The fact that more than a thousand people have gathered here in Washington to speak out on behalf of girls and women in poor communities is a testament to the compassion of the American people."

The celebration kicked off last night, on the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, with a special concert featuring India.Arie, Crystal Bowersox, Sarah Darling and Michael Franti.  Today, participants will hear from notables such as Dr. Gayle, Melinda Gates, Mrs. Laura W. Bush, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and Ambassador Melanne Verveer.  In addition, CARE staff from nearly 40 countries—from Egypt to Afghanistan—are participating in the conference and will be sharing their unique in-country perspectives.  

March 10 opens with a breakfast keynote by Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX), followed by a political snapshot of the current climate on Capitol Hill by Judy Woodruff of PBS' NewsHour.  CARE advocates will then head to Capitol Hill for more than 300 meetings with members of Congress, and take an active role in influencing U.S. policy that affects the world's most vulnerable populations.

"Tomorrow, when more than a thousand CARE advocates storm Capitol Hill, their message will ring loud and clear: foreign assistance is a practical and smart investment in global stability, one that yields big returns for people everywhere," added Dr. Gayle.  

For more information on the CARE National Conference and International Women's Day Celebration, visit  To receive press credentials, contact Julie Bernstein ( or 240-601-5562) or Niki Clark ( or 202-604-4062).

About CARE:  Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty.  CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.  Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity. To learn more, visit