(VIDEO) Melinda Gates' Message for BlogHers

BlogHer Original Post

I'm nearly vibrating with excitement that BlogHer '13 week is finally here! And I'm thrilled to share with you this video from none other than Melinda Gates, who has a message specifically for BlogHers.

Melinda Gates

Over the past few weeks, I've learned more about Melinda and her passion for social change. During her travels, she meets regularly with women and girls in the developing world to listen to them share stories about their lives, families, children, and hopes and dreams. This week, Melinda is excited to listen and engage in conversations with the women of the BlogHer community to learn more about their own hopes, dreams -- and especially ideas for making change in the world, for all women.

Last year, Melinda traveled to Niger and Senegal in the week leading up to the London Summit on Family Planning to do just that: listen to women and girls. She wanted to hear their thoughts about access to family planning firsthand so that she could learn from them and understand how best to help improve their health and lives. As Melinda tells it in speeches and interviews, these women all want to offer a better future for their children. Being able to do that really starts with their ability to plan their families so that they can feed their kids, keep them healthy, and send them to school. It is a priority of Melinda’s to share these stories and also to work with online communities –- in particular online women’s communities -- to highlight the importance of increased access to family planning for women in developing countries. And it was thanks in part to influential women online that this issue, and women’s stories about contraceptives, was catapulted onto the global agenda.

BlogHer -- the largest community of women social media influencers -- can (and does) play an important role in helping to make change in the world for women living in some of the poorest countries in the world. And so, without further ado, here's the inspirational Melinda Gates with her message for BlogHers everywhere.

Melinda wants to work with BlogHer and women online who are about social change to spark conversations and galvanize action. Would you like to work with her? Let us know in the comments.

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of BlogHer.com. Find more at www.ritaarens.com.

Follow BlogHer on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/BlogHer-28615

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