Maternal mortality rates. How horrifyingly ironic.
In Sierra Leone, more than 1,033 women die for every 100,000 live births. In places like India, many little girls are forced to marry older men and then abused or forced to have children (more specifically, pressured to have boys) far before it is healthy for them to have another baby, or to have one at all. And in multiple areas of the world, it is considered taboo to have a baby in the hospital with proper medical care, rather than at home without any help at all.
It is ironic that, “while universally recognized as a milestone of womanhood, pregnancy and childbirth remain among the leading causes of death of women worldwide; every day, one woman per minute dies while giving birth or soon after. An additional 10 million to 15 million women suffer complications or injuries resulting from the act of giving life.”
The poor situations of millions of women and children everywhere prompted the Gates Foundation to give 1.5 billion dollars towards improving women and children’s health worldwide. The UN is in on it, as well. It’s all I can do not to go up to Ban Ki-Moon and thank him personally for making women’s health such a priority.
The solution is so simple that it’s pathetic. Education. All they need is to wait a few more years before giving birth. Or to know the benefits of medical care while giving birth. Or how and when to use birth control. Or to avoid being married off to a man who will not abuse them or pressure them to have more children so that they can have a son.
I realize that it is not that simple. But just working within these oppressive cultures can yield some positive results. We don’t have to change EVERYTHING, but we should be able to dramatically impact the suffering and death women around the world face while giving birth to new lives.
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