“What If…” We Could Ensure Every Woman’s Right to Health?

Since its beginning four decades ago as the “United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace,” International Women’s Day on March 8 has grown from a single observance by U.N. Member States to a rallying point for countries, organizations, and individuals looking to build support for women’s rights around the world.

In 1978, the World Health Organization decreed that the attainment of health by people in any one country directly concerns and benefits every other country, reaffirming that health – which is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity – is a fundamental human right.

– World Health Organization

Women’s issues – particularly regarding health and wellness – run the gamut from the personal and typical to the horrific, and everything in between, from self-tracking health data, to recognizing and intervening in human trafficking. Diseases that affect women and families are being tackled every day by exemplary women like Mama Tumeh, a tribal elder and head of Traditional Women United for Peace, who developed community-based solutions to the Ebola crisis as it broke out in Liberia, and Freya Boardman-Pretty, who discovered that the presence of a particular version of the BCAR1 gene puts women at higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Carl Sagan once remarked that, “We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers.” Alexandra von Plato, Publicis Health’s President of North America, has found the question “What if?” to be a guiding principle toward understanding, testing, and shaping the enormous, game-changing role of digital media in healthcare – and that question is no more momentous than on International Women’s Day.

As we lead up to the global commemoration on March 8, we’ll be highlighting and celebrating the achievements of women who have dared to ask “What if?” and have changed our world by doing so.

Are you inspired by a woman who is making great strides in healthcare? How is she answering the question, “What if?”