Victoria’s Secret Model Philanthropist

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Lately, fashion model Erin Heatherton has been setting an example for women everywhere by throwing her support behind philanthropic causes.

Together with the Global Poverty Project and Women Deliver, Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton has started a new family planning initiative called It Takes Two to “raise awareness of, increase demand for and improve access to family planning information and services around the world,” particularly in developing nations. The movement arose in response to the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning—or FP2020—which pledged to reduce the unmet need for family planning services in developing countries by 120 million women by 2020.

Elevating global female health standards and increasing female empowerment in impoverished nations have been cited as the top issues that those aiming to eradicate global poverty must first address. Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of the Global Poverty Project, insists that to deny 222 million women in the developing world access to or information about contraceptive services is a violation of their human rights.

Starting in June 2013, It Takes Two gave participants in the program worldwide the opportunity to win free condoms, sign petitions, design condom wrappers and attend seminars on safe contraceptive practices. Heatherton initially launched the campaign in the US and Uganda with future plans to expand to eight other countries throughout the developing world.

The campaign is not, however, just about handing out contraceptive materials. It Takes Two works towards motivating young men and women to take action—both in the developing countries and in industrialized countries with the ability to help—towards improving access to family planning services and information. It Takes Two also aims to put pressures on governments to reach their FP2020 goals so that progress can continue past the initiative’s initial efforts and programs.

Many have lauded the program for reaching out to men to get involved, as most family planning movements work only with women. It Takes Two recognizes that, by giving men a stake in family planning initiatives, the movement may also tackle issues of gender inequality and lack of female empowerment that often exacerbate women’s lack of reproductive rights in developing countries. Speaking as the ambassador of It Takes Two, Heatherton claims that since the lack of modern contraception affects both men and women, both sexes should be involved in finding a solution.

Heatherton’s initiative with It Takes Two is an inspiring example of a woman using her role as a powerful female figure to help women around the world—and to inspire others to take an interest and do the same.

– Alexandria Bruschi

Source: Artist Direct Network, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Indicators Database
Photo: Contact Music

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