Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quick hit: More reasons to love Nicholas Kristof

For those of you who don't read the New York Times opinion section quite as religiously as I do, Nicholas Kristof writes consistently and eloquently about the plight of women in third-world countries. He's an incredibly important voice for women's rights worldwide, and this week's column is no exception. In it, he reminders us about just how many women are dying in childbirth worldwide - and how preventable their deaths are. Kristof writes:

"It’s pretty clear that if men were dying at these rates, the United Nations Security Council would be holding urgent consultations, and a country such as this would appoint a minister of paternal mortality. Yet half-a-million women die annually from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth without attracting much interest because the victims are typically among the most voiceless people in the world: impoverished, rural, uneducated and female."

I'm glad that Kristof is helping to give these women a voice - and another reason that I'm incredibly grateful that President Obama has reinstated funds for the U.N. Population Fund. If you're interested, here are some organizations that are doing crucial work to make motherhood safe for all women.

The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
CARE
Averting Maternal Death and Disability
Pathfinder International
Family Care International

2 Comments:

At May 17, 2009 at 8:58 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

Yes, the media is definitely more likely to call attention to male suffering than female, just another instance of Patriarchy at play. When was the last time you've seen a media frenzy about a missing woman? Missing men, however, get all the sympathy.

 
At May 18, 2009 at 9:38 AM , Blogger LSG said...

I think there's lots of media attention for missing and suffering women -- a frenzy, in fact -- when the women are young, American, pretty, white, cisgendered, and middle- or upper-class (think of Johanna Justin-Jinich, the student shot at Wesleyan or Julissa Brisman, the masseuse murdered in a Boston hotel). Women in the developing world hit a trifecta of marginalized and ignored human beings: non-white, poor, and female. It seems to me that it's the combination of these elements that makes them invisible to almost all attention.

 

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