16 Countries Commit to Reducing Maternal Mortality
Late last week, 16 countries (see list here), 9 of which are from the African continent, pledged their commitments to reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality, as part of the Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. The countries, supported by UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF, the World Bank, and WHO, will focus on promoting increased contraceptive use, better access to obstetric care, immunizations, and the prevention of mother to child HIV transmission.
Anthony Lake, UNICEF executive director stated, "Focusing on the women and children in greatest need is not only the right thing to do, it moves us faster and most cost-effectively towards meeting the health Millennium Development Goals. By choosing to redouble their efforts on maternal and child health, these 16 nations are not only saving lives, they are making an investment in their future."
Launched in September 2010, the Global Strategy aims to reduce maternal and child death in developing nations. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and the World Bank released a report in September stating that although maternal mortality rates have decreased by 34 percent since 1990, the decline in the rate of pregnancy-related deaths is not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal target for 2015. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 maternal deaths per day caused by easily preventable conditions that include severe bleeding after childbirth, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortion.
Media Resources: UNFPA Statement 5/20/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 5/2/11
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .