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Local Organization Wins 2012 Women’s Empowerment Award

Women’s Voices for the Earth recognized for national campaigns to protect women’s health from toxic chemicals

For immediate release:
June 26, 2012

Contact:
Erin Switalski, (406) 543-3747, erins@womensvoices.org

MISSOULA – Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE), a national women’s health organization based here in Missoula, is a recipient of the 2012 Women’s Empowerment Awards and has been named to a new list of top-rated groups by GreatNonprofits.

“I’m proud that WVE is here in Montana representing influential national work on women’s health issues and toxic chemicals,” said Erin Switalski, executive director of Women’s Voices for the Earth.

WVE was founded in Missoula in 1995 with the goal of creating a model women’s organization that would effectively address leading environmental issues while creating opportunities for women to become agents for social change. For the first half of its existence, WVE conducted state-based work in Montana, organizing women to fight polluting facilities such as incinerators, cement kilns, and large-scale pesticide spraying. In 2004, WVE expanded its work to reach women at the national levels by co-founding the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and has been leading influential national campaigns to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm women’s health for the last eight years.

WVE was awarded the prestigious Women’s Empowerment Award for its innovative national campaigns, such as the Since When is Cancer Free and Gentle? campaign that the group is currently leading. In November, WVE released a report with independent testing results of 20 top-selling cleaning products that revealed the presence of 1,4-dioxane, a known-cancer-causing chemical, in Tide and Tide Free & Gentle. WVE launched Since When is Cancer Free and Gentle? to convince the consumer product manufacturer behemoth Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide) to remove the chemical from its products. The campaign has mobilized more than 78,000 people to call on the company to remove 1,4-dioxane and has received widespread media coverage in major outlets like The New York Times, Forbes, and Scientific American, and in television outlets across the country.

“We are gratified to be able to honor Women’s Voices for the Earth for its work on women’s health issues,” said Perla Ni, CEO of GreatNonprofits. “They deserve to be recognized for the support that have from their community of stakeholders.”

GreatNonprofits is the leading provider of user reviews for nonprofit organizations, and WVE members’ unanimously 5-star reviews of the organization were another major reason that the WVE was named a recipient of the Women’s Empowerment Award. The following are excerpts from a few of those reviews.

“They foster a sense of community that we as women can make a difference in the health of ourselves, children, families, & communities.”  

“WVE effectively educates women and mobilizes them to raise their voices and speak out about the injustices of living in world where exposure to toxic chemicals is a daily reality.”
“Not only did WVE have excellent reports and science to share to benefit the health of women and children (the whole family – really), they were also very open and available. They continue to be one of my favorite organizations helping to spread the word that the immediate environments of women & children matter and that easy-to-implement options abound.”

For more on WVE’s national work and how to get involved, visit www.womensvoices.org.

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Women’s Voices for the Earth is a national organization that works to eliminate toxic chemicals that impact women’s health by changing consumer behaviors, corporate practices and government policies.

June 28, 2012