I am currently at "Women Deliver" in London's docklands, a strange setting for this, the first global conference in 20 years which aims to combat maternal mortality. So far Douglas Alexander, the UK's Secretary of State for International Development, has pledged to give $200 million over five years to the United Nations Population Fund to tackle the health of women and mothers worldwide. You can read the press release here. [more...]
During the midday press conference Jill Sheffield from Family Care International (and organising partner of Women Deliver) highlighted two key figures: 40 percent of all global pregnancies will have complications, and 15 percent will be life threatening - every minute of everyday a woman dies in labour, mostly in developing countries. Most of the discrepancies can be explained by the gap in medical resources between rich and poor countries. (In New York, where she lives, the highest mortality rate is in South Bronx; the equation works both regionally and internationally).
All participants underlined the need to have a strong political will to back up the resolutions proposed by the conference: the challenge is to meet the United Nations target of access to reproductive health for all women by 2015 and to create a broad-based movement involving more people than the "usual suspects" (namely reproductive rights advocates, AIDS doctors and human rights activists).
More from the "Women Deliver" conference soon.