Friday, April 8, 2016

Poverty, Pregnancy and Gender Inequality





A new practice has started in Nigeria where women have chosen to give birth in churches rather than in the safer environment of maternity clinics. This might sound like madness when the chances of a woman dying from pregnancy and childbirth in Nigeria are 1 in 13.
It’s easy to dismiss the cultural significance of the church being a safe haven for women, one woman describes why she has opted for a church birth, "they do fasting and prayer here, and if you are pregnant you need to go to the place where there is God and there is daily fasting and prayers. Child delivery in a church is a emotional and traditional belief.


You might yourself be questioning why a mother might choose put her child at such risk, but consider that in Nigeria only 20% of health care facilities offer emergency obstetric care and only 35% of deliveries are attended by skilled birth attendants. The haven of a religious community might seem more ideal to an alien environment of needles and medicine.
Maybe the question we should be asking is whether so many men in Nigeria would be allowed to die if they were the ones bearing the children?


Some people think the solution to poverty is just for African women to “not get pregnant”. Even within this argument the blame is directed at the woman as being the source of the problem. No women should have to fear becoming pregnant and or be ashamed of it. A new hashtag #PovertyisSexist has been trending across Twitter recently, highlighting the gender gap to world leaders and asking them to put women at the heart of decisions on tackling poverty.


Melinda Gates, founder of #PovertyisSexist, explained:


‘Poverty disproportionately affects women around the world. Just with HIV/AIDS, 74% of new infections are in women. In fact, they're young girls, between the ages of 15 and 24. Or if you ask, who has the chance to move into the city and get a good job out in the developing world? It's a man. Who's left to care for the kids back at home? …Childbearing, I mean, if there's no place to go to deliver your baby, then you're the one that's delivering in those unhealthy circumstances. Or if you can't get access to family planning, your chances of surviving and being able to bring your kids up if they come one right after the other, that locks you into a cycle of poverty.’


Still unsure that gender inequality is linked to Pregnancy and Poverty?


Here are some more hard hitting statistics:
  • Girls account for 74% of all new HIV infections among adolescents in Africa
  • 40% of women on the African continent suffer from anaemia, which results in 20% of maternal deaths


Women are fighting against the odds to escape poverty and that’s why Ripples Foundation aims to not blame the women, but to empower her by providing her with skills she needs to raise herself and her children out of poverty.
Ripples Foundation believes in investing in women as a solution, by giving her opportunities to develop her own business so she can provide for her family.
You can provide them with support they need and donate to Ripples Foundation today. You can provide support to rural African women and their children, with your help they can get the right tools so change can happen within their communities.


To donate online please visit http://www.totalgiving.co.uk/charity/ripples-foundation
Your donations will help village women build enterprises, provide medical services to rural communities and educate youths through skills and training.


Let’s empower women in poverty!

You can make change happen.
Holly Macdonald Web Developer

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