Today, a thousand women face the reality that they will die.
One thousand women: That’s how many die every single day around the world, due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth. That’s 360,000 deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization. An astounding 90 percent of those deaths could have been prevented by better medical or emergency care.
One thousand women a day, dead. The number is hard to wrap your head around, so try this: Today at the park or mall, look at moms with their kids and imagine hundreds and hundreds of them, gone. At the office, look at your coworkers who are moms and imagine them, gone. Look at your cell-phone contact list of friends and imagine them, gone. A disturbing exercise, I know.
For Mother’s Day, Every Mother Counts campaign launched the No Mothers Day initiative and asked moms to “disappear” in an act of solidarity with mothers around the world by going not making calls or updating Facebook statuses. Instead of cards and flowers, you could ask family to donate money to causes that support maternal health programs. The purpose of asking moms to “disappear,” as Every Mother Counts founder Christy Turlington Burns explained: ”Show everyone just how much a mother is missed when she is gone.” And also, of course, get people talking about the issue, and how solvable it is.
A lot of moms blogged about No Mothers Day, on this site and others, and it made headlines nationwide. For No Mothers Day, I asked my family to not buy me a gift; I talked with my kids about the pregnant women who get very sick because they don’t have doctors, and then we made a donation toward building a health clinic.
What you can do:
• Take a minute to sign a pledge asking our government to keep its commitment to the United Nation’s goal to advance maternal health by 2014.
• Make a donation toward building a health clinic in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just $25 can buy a bedframe—and potentially save another mother’s life.
• Pick up the Every Mother Counts 2012 CD at Starbucks, which features songs by everyone from Faith Hill and Beck to Diana Krall and Sting; $8 of the $12 price goes to the organization.
I choose to raise my voice today because this is an issue to think about year-round. It’s all too easy to return to our regularly-scheduled lives; one thousand girls and women around will not have lives to return to.
Image: Screenshot from No Woman, No Cry
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