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Welcome to Women in Rotary, showcasing the history and importance of Women in Rotary and women in leadership roles in our community...

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Harriet “Pepi” Noble is a Rotarian and author of the blog, A Noble Purpose.

Sourced from Our Foundation - Issue 123 April 2012

A Rotarian from District 3700 (Korea) administers oral polio vaccine to a child at a health camp in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, in NovemberIt’s International Women’s Day and I’m celebrating and spreading the news that thousands of women on two continents play a major role in eradicating polio.

And they are not working in hospitals or clinics, but in the field, traveling door-to-door, down back alleys to talk to mothers and grandmothers about the benefits of polio vaccine and then giving the vaccine to the children. You can find them on National Immunization Days delivering oral vaccine, giving hand washing, nutritional and other health care information. You can find them holding meetings with parents, particularly mothers, on the benefits of polio eradication.

The numbers are staggering. In India alone, 80-85 percent of the 2.3 million vaccinators at every round of National Immunization Days are female workers. Of the 155,000 people who supervise these women, 70 percent are female. Just think of how wonderful it is that these two million women are working so hard to help their communities. They are trained, they are skilled and they are respected. In places where women are sometimes undervalued this is something to celebrate.

As you know, India has been polio free for over a year and the World Health Organization has just removed it from the list of endemic countries. Think there’s a connection?

This is an exceptional program and I’d like you to read the story about the Women Vaccinators and tell your friends. Let’s find a way to start a thank you letter to these women.

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Women in Rotary is the home of The Rotary Club of Melbourne to initiate and support a dynamic Rotary culture where men and women work together to expand and build on existing strengths with the benefits of diversity to improve the lives of individuals and communities in a way consistent with the RI Strategic Plan

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Rotary provides opportunities for ordinary women to do extraordinary things.