International Women’s Day 2015: Stakeholders Call For End To Maternal Mortality
On this International Women’s Day, experts and partners on the NOTAGAIN Campaign have called for effective implementation of policies and commitments that promote rights and access of women to quality maternal health and family planning services, while charging stakeholders on women empowerment in Nigeria.In a statement made available to HealthNewsNG.com the partners said the International Women’s Day 2015, which is celebrated on March 8 all over the world, seeks to encourage effective action for advancing and recognising women through the theme: ‘make it happen’.
Nigeria currently has an unmet need of 16 percent for family planning among currently married women and 53 percent of women complain of at least one problem in accessing health care in Nigeria. Getting money for treatment (42 percent), distance to health facility (28.8 percent), and attitude of health worker (16.5 percent) are top challenges women face in accessing health care in Nigeria.According to the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, Nigeria recorded slight improvement in access to antenatal care – the proportion of women receiving antenatal care from a skilled provider is 61 percent compared to 58 percent in 2008.
It would be recalled that Nigeria has made several commitments to improve these undesirable indicators. The Millennium Development Goal 5, Abuja Declaration of April 2001, and commitments towards FP 2020, are among the commitments made to improve the health and wellbeing of women in Nigeria.
Family Planning In her message for the International Women’s Day 2015, the Advocacy Advisor, Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), Ms. Ibeawuchi Charity noted that Nigeria joined the world at the London Summit in 2012 to commit to achieving the Global FP Vision 2020, which aims at supporting the rights of women and girls to decide freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they have.
Women Rights The Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi described maternal health issue as a host of human rights issues, including social, cultural, legal and accountability issues. She said, “in the past, people look at the issue of maternal health from medical point of view. However, if you don’t situate it between the human right discourses, you may not be able to have a holistic understanding of what maternal health is and the implication of maternal health. When you situate it in that manner you will be able to understand that maternal health is a social issue, cultural issue and legal issue. it’s an issue of accountability”.
International Women’s Day The International Women’s Day is celebrated March 8th. It’s the one day of the year when people around the world come together across physical and cultural divides to celebrate the rights of women and girls. The first International Women’s Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a big success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The March 19 date was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep. The International Women’s Day date was moved to March 8 in 1913.