Of all public health measures, maternal mortality rates show the greatest level of disparity. In a fantastic op-ed in the Boston Globe, Mary Robinson and Alicia Yamin, advisory council members of the International Initiative on Maternal Mortality and Human Rights, discuss the issue of preventable maternal deaths as a violation of women's rights. As the article mentions, 85 countries have called upon the Human Rights Council to take decisive action to contribute to the existing efforts to address maternal mortality. But, the slow progress can be attributed to lack of will. As the authors say:
The reason that women are still dying is because women's lives are not valued, because their voices are not listened to, and because they are discriminated against and excluded in their communities and by healthcare systems that fail to prioritize their needs.
As Graça Machel mentioned in the video we posted yesterday, it's time for governments to step up and recognize that women should have the right to a healthy and safe pregnancy and birth. What are some of your ideas to make this a reality?