Pregnancy :: UN official urges investment in women’s health to stem maternal deaths

Afghanistan, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, must intensify efforts to improve the health of women and children as part of overall efforts to boost conditions in the war-ravaged country, the head of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said today in Kabul.

?I would like to make a strong call for greater investment in the health and well-being of Afghanistan?s women and their families,? said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.

In Afghanistan, UNFPA is supporting a national census while seeking to promote gender equity and women?s empowerment and foster maternal health, reproductive health and HIV prevention.

Ms. Obaid said work in these areas will benefit Afghanistan as a whole. ?We all know from many studies that women contribute greatly to their families and communities and that when women participate in the community and the family, that the country becomes much stronger,? she said.

?In our work in Afghanistan and the overall strategy of the country, the big challenge facing human development in Afghanistan is to support women and girls so they can exercise their rights to education, to health, to decent work, to live free from violence, coercion and discrimination, and to participate fully in public life,? she added.

A central concern is addressing the problem of violence against women, in law enforcement and through public awareness. ?But most importantly violence against women will not stop if the men themselves do not participate in stopping the violence,? she said.

Leave a Comment