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Farm Radio Weekly is a news and information service for rural radio broadcasters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is published by Farm Radio International.

Farm Radio Weekly

Notes to broadcasters: Human rights and maternal mortality

December 10 is recognised as Human Rights Day. The UN General Assembly proclaimed the Day in 1950, to bring the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. For more information and resources, follow this link: http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/. More general information on human rights can be found on the UN Human Rights page: http://www.un.org/en/rights/

In 2013, the Office of the UN High Commission for Human Rights marks 20 years since its establishment. Find out more about its work here: http://at20.ohchr.org/

There is also a history of the development of human rights available on Wikipedia. You can read that at this address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights

The full text of the Universal Declaration of Human rights can be found on the UN website, via this link: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

Farm Radio Weekly produced Notes to broadcasters on human rights stories in issue #178 (October 2011). It provides resources to support journalists who wish to write human rights or gender-based stories. It also has links to several FRW stories on these subjects. Please revisit those Notes here: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2011/10/31/notes-to-broadcasters-on-human-rights-stories/

The story about Edna Adan mentions the subject of women who die as a result of childbirth, or maternal mortality. There is plenty of information about this issue on the UN World Health Organization website. Go to this address to access statistics and analysis: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs348/en/. More resources are available through this link: http://www.who.int/topics/maternal_health/en/

Africa has the technology to save the lives of women. Africans have the powerful spirit and the will to demand their rights. More than this, there are thousands of heroes and heroines of maternal health across the continent. Find out more about the African Union’s Campaign for accelerated reduction of maternal mortality, or CARMMA, through this link: http://www.carmma.org/; and through the African Union’s website: http://pages.au.int/carmma

What is the situation in your listening area? Do women have access to trained medical professionals, or are they reliant on more traditional help, from family members and older, female members of the community? How far are the nearest ante- and post-natal clinics? Is reliable and safe transport available? Are these issues talked about amongst you listeners? What do men think are the important issues, compared to the opinions of women? Start a discussion on the airwaves with pre-recorded opinion, in-studio experts and a phone-in for those listening: you might be surprised by the responses that you get.

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