Capitol Hill Briefing Highlights Maternal Health in Afghanistan
Congresswomen and global health administrators held a briefing on Capitol Hill Tuesday to highlight the issue of maternal health in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in the world according to UNICEF. Women's Policy Inc. sponsored the event in collaboration with the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues.
Melanne Verveer, the first-ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's issues, spoke of women in Afghanistan "dying because medical facilities lack the equipment or the means to provide care under the best circumstances and in other circumstances because they lack electricity," reported Voice of America News. She also referenced an Afghan bill intended to eliminate violence against women that Afghan President Hamid Karzai reportedly will sign. The bill establishes a six month prison sentence for men who prevent women from working, getting an education or receiving health care, reports Agence France Presse.
Afghan Midwives Association President Pashtoon Azfar, and USAID Senior Maternal Health Advisor, Mary Ellen Stanton, both spoke on successful midwife training programs that have greatly increased the number of skilled care providers in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan was recently criticized by the United Nations for the impact corruption and instability have on the Afghan people, especially women. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report last week that "slammed Afghanistan for failing to curb violence against women and for sustaining a culture of impunity that leaves such crimes unpunished," reported Agence France Presse.
Media Resources: UNICEF 7/7/09; Voice of America News 7/14/09; Agence France Presse 7/14/09
3/7/2014 Study Finds Continuing Gender Gap in Medical Research - Although 20 years have passed since the government instituted legislation requiring adequate female representation in medical studies, a recent study finds that a significant sex and gender gap still persists in medical research.
"Sex-Specific Medical Research: Why Women's Health Can't Wait" by researchers at the Connors Center for Women's Health and Gender Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Jacobs Institute at George Washington University Hospital finds that scientists still fail to account for differences between males and females. . . .