Date Posted: March 22nd, 2010
In an interview with Farm Radio Weekly, Christian Ouedraogo, coordinator of Amnesty International’s maternal mortality campaign, explains why the status of women is an obstacle to the fulfillment of their right to health in Burkina Faso. Mr. Ouedraogo says: “She has no right to choose contraceptive methods or choose not to have children and is married at a very young age. Therefore, we have to make sure that the authorities have the status of women at heart and allow these women to take control of their reproductive health.” And that is precisely what Amnesty International’s “Demand Dignity” campaign aims to do. To read more about the campaign, visit the following website: http://demanddignity.amnesty.org/fr/campaign/maternal-mortality (in French only.)
To learn more about the campaign on maternal health in Burkina Faso, please visit the following website: http://www.amnesty.org/fr/news-and-updates/report/pregnant-women-burkina-faso-dying-because-discrimination-20100127 (in French only.)
Mr. Ouedraogo says that the task will not be easy. “There are problems that are rooted in the couple. The fear of losing the husband pushes the woman to accept everything that he dictates. So, for example, even if a woman would like to suggest contraception methods, the suggestion is often squarely rejected by her husband.”
Here are some questions that may help you in your research on maternal health in your area:
-What kind of care do pregnant women have access to? Do pregnant women have to travel long distances to receive care?
-Does the government subsidize health care? If yes, are women in your area aware of this?
-Are there women’s groups that support pregnant women in your area? If yes, what kind of activities are they involved in? Do they also educate men?
Here are a series of 5 reports produced during the Amnesty International campaign on maternal health that toured Burkina Faso. Click on the links below to hear these stories, produced by Christine Muratet from Radio France International:
Part 1: http://www.rfi.fr/contenu/20100202-serie-burkina-faso-caravane-amnesty-donner-vie-risquer-mort-rencontre-burkinabe-vol
Part 2: http://www.rfi.fr/contenu/20100203-serie-burkina-faso-une-caravane-sensibilisation-mortalite-maternelle-burkina-faso-v
Part 3: http://www.rfi.fr/contenu/20100204-burkina-faso-mortalite-maternelle-paroles-hommes-35
Part 4: http://www.rfi.fr/contenu/20100205-burkinamortalite-maternelle-sensibiliser-femmes-venir-accoucher-centres-santee-45
Part 5: http://www.rfi.fr/contenu/20100206-serie-burkina-faso-une-caravane-sensibilisation-mortalite-maternelle-burkina-faso-v
Finally, here are some radio scripts produced by Farm Radio International on maternal health:
Part 1: http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/83-1script_en.asp
Part 2: http://www.farmradio.org/english/radio-scripts/83-2script_en.asp