Archive for the '04-22-0830' Category
by Oriane Matthys
In Tanzania, one in 24 women will die from maternal health complications, compared to the one in 7300 women in developed countries. This statistic is the target of the fifth Millennium Development Goal, which pledges to reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three-quarters by 2015. At the current pace, this goal will not be met. This paper explores the most effective ways to target the problem and more-rapidly decrease the maternal mortality ratio. Both past and current Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers for Tanzania suggest building more facilities and increasing financial resources. However, this will not work; the goal will not be met by only increasing funding for aid. We need to address the structure of the entire prenatal health care system. The structure can be improved by offering more accessible local clinics as well as ensuring that the health personnel become more experienced and less careless with their work. Policies need to be implemented so that many more women visit prenatal clinics. Therefore, initiatives must understand traditional beliefs in order to publicize the benefits of prenatal care. The key to successfully reaching the fifth MDG is to educate both the public and health professionals alike. Only then will we increase awareness of pregnancy risks, multiply attendance at medical facilities, decrease the maternal mortality ratio, and improve maternal health in Tanzania.
By: Anastasia Karklina
In the Global South, active female participation in government is often unconventional. In the third Millennium Development Goal, the United Nations calls for an increase in proportion of seats held by women in parliament. In roughly last two decades, a Maryland-sized central eastern African country has challenged the established North-South divide in political gender equity, gaining support from the Western states. In 2003, the number of female parliamentarians in Rwanda exceeded Sweden, and Rwanda became the largest female parliamentary representative worldwide.
Since Rwanda’s recovery process from the 1994 genocide, Western countries have used the case study of Rwanda as a lesson on gender equality that the developing world ought to look up to. An increased political involvement of Rwandan women, however, is partially a socio-demographic consequence of the genocide, and Kagame’s political strategy to maintain power and visibility of democracy and equality for all Rwandans, men and women – a high guarantee of international support. In the shadow of the genocide, Rwanda has received more praise of its ‘progress’ rather than criticism of its one-party authoritarian state under the authority of President Kagame, Tutsi military clique and the Rwandan Patriotic Front. While statistical numbers remain high, it is debatable how Rwanda’s political gender empowerment practically increases female participation in the actual decision-making process, and how significant it is to a realistic achievement of the third MDG by the year of 2015.
By: Camille Mathey-Andrews
In India, poor women living in rural areas face the greatest risk of death during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. India is characterized by a particularly high maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 301 deaths per 100,000 live births. With the recent introduction of Millennium Development Goal 5 (MDG 5), aiming to improve maternal health, India has become the focus of discussions seeking to identify the origins of maternal mortality. Policymakers have blamed poverty for India’s high MMR. Yet, although there are definite correlates between deprivation and low quality healthcare, other factors may have a greater influence on maternal health. In this paper, I argue that gender inequality and dangerous birth traditions have more of an impact than poverty alone. I use medical and anthropological data to make a sociomedical argument for rural India’s high MMR. Furthermore, I discuss male preference in rural societies and its impact on the quality of life of Indian women, particularly in the areas of nutrition, abortion, and intimate partner violence. I also address the postpartum risks attributable to culturally-determined birth practices. I offer suggested measures to expand existing maternal healthcare initiatives. If improved policies are implemented, India will be better positioned to meet MDG 5 standards by 2015.
This paper focuses on how the second Millennium Development Goal with its indicator of net primary education of a hundred percent has had a gross effect on the education system of Mozambique. This unforeseen consequence stems directly from the MDGs universality and lack of any sort of country-specific characteristics. Mozambique’s problems with education were caused by social and political events and consequences specific to its history of colonial rule and civil war. However, in 2010 Mozambique impressively did nearly accomplish one hundred percent net enrollment five years before the “deadline” set by the MDGs. This rapid growth the MDGs forced upon Mozambique has left it with worse problems with its education system than it had when the MDGs were first erected. Education quality has reached an all time low. Schools are populated with too many students and too little necessary learning equipment to provide a meaningful education, while teachers are untrained and overwhelmed. Overflowing primary schools have no secondary schools to send their pupils as the secondary system has not kept pace with the growth of primary. The MDGs indicator of net primary enrollment is shown to be meaningless and their effects detrimental to the countries they aim to develop.