Taking Control of Our Bodies- The Enduring Issue of Maternal Mortality


Women around the world are playing their part. Are you? Way to go Burkina Faso for playing their part!

Women around the world are playing their
part. Are you? Way to go Burkina Faso for playing their part! A campaign to end
maternal mortality was kicked off last week in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso, one
of the world’s poorest countries in West Africa has struggled with a serious
maternal mortality issue. However, this can and will soon change. According to
an Amnesty International report more than 2,000 women die annually from
complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Women in this West African
country are not given the access to adequate health care.  Forced
marriage, genital mutilation, polygamy, early marriage and pregnancy all
contribute to the high rate of maternal death, said Gaetan Mootoo, co-author of
the report.

Women around the world are slowly realizing
the importance of their health. "Maternal death is a tragedy that robs
thousands of families of wives, mothers, sisters and daughters each year,"
said Amnesty’s Claudio Cordone. This issue is preventable and should be a major
priority However, maternal mortality has been a major issue in many developing
countries. The campaign in Bukina Faso intends to end maternal mortality by
improving access to family planning and removing financial obstacles which
limit access to maternal health services. We must give thumbs up to these
small, but powerful campaigns. It is 2010 and we are still dealing with issues
that target women and only women. It is almost as if women are facing the death
penalty when faced with pregnancy or giving birth. Of course each pregnancy is
a risk, but why is it such a risk in other countries? Why is it each minute a
woman dies from an issue that is so preventable? We can’t keep using access to
health care and financial obligations as an excuse to overlook this extreme
issue. All women are obligated to have a safe and healthy pregnancy and
childbirth. We must look at the bigger scope of the issue. Training birth
attendants, spreading awareness about family planning, and understanding the
woman’s culture are all extremely important. These vital issues should not be

Maternal mortality will continue to
kill women one by one if women are not given the option to control their own
bodies. Women must be taught to stand on their own two feet and make a stance
for their health. It is important that each woman does her part to combat this
plaguing issue. It is time that we as women stand up and take control of our
bodies! Way to go to the women in Burkina Faso!


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Mortality Rates, 2008



Source: UNICEF, Progress for Children: A Report Card on
Maternal Mortality, 2008

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