Perhaps we should also ask a simple question about the rights of a woman in any given society: can she determine when she has children, and how many of them she will have? If she cannot, then what use are her supposed positions of honor or status? But come to think of it, shouldn't that right extend to women in the so-called developed first world, too?
Newborn health is inextricably connected to maternal health. Similarly to maternal mortality, preventable diseases are the major causes of under-five deaths. Inadequate nutrition, limited access to clean water and poor healthcare infrastructures lead to the spread of preventable infectious diseases.
"A pregnant woman has one foot in the grave." This common saying reflects the reality in many developing countries: bearing a child is one of the main risks to a woman's life. In the poor countries of the world, giving birth is both one of the most significant days in a woman's life but also a time when she is closest to losing it.
From birth, Kadiga Mohammed was set to marry her first and eldest cousin, a traditional practice known as 'absuma' in her community in the Afar Region of Ethiopia. When she turned 16, her parents began to prepare for the wedding. But Kadiga was filled with dread -- she did not want to marry the man they had selected for her.