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Posts Tagged ‘early marriage’

Maternal Mortality in Sierra Leone: The Story of Mamma is a collection of photos and captions that tell the tragic story of the death of Mamma Sessay, an 18-year old who lost her life giving birth in Sierra Leone, a country with one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world.

Time

The captions on the photos explain that Mamma was forced to marry at age 14 and first gave birth when she was 15. At the age of 18, she gave birth to the first of a pair of twins and then her contractions stopped…

View the photo essay here.

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Tom Watson, author of  CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World, writes about ten technologies, both high and low tech, that are empowering women across the developing world—and several have the potential to directly improve maternal health.

The Daily Beast

Among the technologies Watson writes about are safe birthing kits with soap, a plastic sheet, a razor blade and string (pretty low-tech!); E-Learning to train and certify 20,000 nurses in Kenya by 2011; and text messaging/social networking platforms for communities to discuss and push for change on issues like female genital cutting and early marriage.

Read the full story, Technologies that Empower Women.

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A recent study by the International Institute of Population Sciences (IIPS) and the Population Council of India outlines just how prevalent early marriage remains in many parts of India.

Bernama.com (Malaysian National News Agency)

This article cites many of the findings of the recent study in India by IIPS and the Population Council. It also raises several of the implications of early marriage in India—including unintended pregnancies and infant and maternal morbidity and mortality.

Read the full story, Child Wedlock Still Haunts India.

For more information on the Population Council’s work in India, click here.

This story, in Times of India, offers more information on the state of reproductive health among youth in India.

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According to UNFPA, Timor-Leste has a maternal mortality ratio of 660 deaths/100,000 live births

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

Women in rural areas have little to no information on reproductive health. Photo by David Swanson/IRIN

“According to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), women in Timor-Leste – the world’s newest independent nation and also Asia’s poorest – give birth to an average 6.38 children during their lifetime, one of the highest fertility rates in the world and second only to Afghanistan.  Melinda Mousaco, the country director for Marie Stopes International Timor Leste, told IRIN that awareness of family planning and reproductive health, particularly in rural areas, is ‘next to nothing’.

‘Because of a lack of education, accidental pregnancies happen frequently,’ she said. ‘When we show basic reproductive anatomy or give information about women’s menstrual cycles, people often tell us ‘this is the first time I’ve heard this’.’

Timor-Leste gained formal independence from Indonesia in 2002 after a long separatist struggle and a surge of violence in 1999, and health experts cite conflict and unemployment as key factors in the country’s high population growth…”

Read the full story here.

For more information on UNFPA in Timor-Leste, click here.

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Veil of Tears is a collection of transcribed interviews with children, women, and men in Afghanistan about loss in childbirth. These interviews are part of IRIN’s  Kabul-based radio project, which closed at the end of 2009 after six years of humanitarian radio production and journalistic capacity building in Afghanistan.

IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis

“In Veil of Tears, a 60-page colour booklet launched today, IRIN brings you a unique collection of personal stories of loss and courage in childbirth, as told by women, men and children from different parts of Afghanistan.

The stories were originally recorded in local languages, Dari and Pashto, for IRIN Radio broadcasts. Transcribed into English in Veil of Tears, they convey the immediacy and intimacy of the interviews conducted by IRIN reporters, who travelled in some cases for several days to reach the remotest villages in Afghanistan.

The interviewees in the booklet talk about the struggle to get enough nutritious food to sustain a woman through pregnancy, and to feed their families on any given day; they describe the awesome distances and terrain that separate people living in the villages from the nearest health facility; they describe the lack of proper roads and transport that may leave a donkey cart as the only option to attempt a life-or-death journey with a pregnant wife or mother to a hospital; they explain the cultural and social rules that might mean decisions by men are made too late to save a woman and her baby…”

Read the full story here.

Click here for a PDF of the Veil of Tears.

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Watch and share Pathfinder’s video, Girl2Woman, that outlines the challenges related to sexual and reproductive health that girls face throughout their lives.

Every video shared raises $1 for Pathfinder International programs—-up to $1 million. Visit the Girl2Woman site to see more information about the initiative and an interactive time line that outlines stages of life and highlights the work that Pathfinder International does to help women at each stage. At the Girl2Woman site, you can also fill out a form to share the video with your contacts.

To learn more about Pathfinder International, click here.

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Too Young , Too Late and Too Far recently premiered in Lagos, Nigeria

The films, produced by Communicating for Change (CFC), were shot in the ‘Nollywood’ style which involves a combination of suspense and drama—but the project team also included health expert script consultants, Dr Boniface Oye Adeniran, Obstetrician/Gynecologist of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Dr Babatunde Ahonsi, formerly of the Ford Foundation.

“The films: Too Young, Too Far, and Too Late, take a provocative look at the life-threatening conditions that pregnant women face in Nigeria while also revealing their struggles with matters of bias against gender, abortion and childbirth as well as the corresponding challenges faced by husbands, boyfriends and families, who have to deal with their own hopes, frustrations and fears.”

Read the full story about Too Young, Too Far, and Too Late here.

For more information about Communicating for Change, click here.

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