Sunday, 7 March 2010

Join the NGO RFSU's Campaigns Against Maternal Mortality

Being a good parent is not always easy and especially not now when we all, to some degree, feel the effects of the financial crisis. Then it is refreshing to receive an eye opener about how fortunate we really are. A good example is the campaign on maternal mortality and abortion organized by the Swedish NGO RFSU and culminating tomorrow March 8, on the International Women's Day.

Both Sweden – where we come from - and Spain – where we live – are welfare states with a minimal maternal mortality. What RFSU aims to draw the attention to is how different the situation is in the poorer parts of the world: Every year, over half a million women die of birth-related injuries. The five main causes – severe bleeding, infections, eclampsia, unsafe abortions and obstructed labour - are all relatively easy to avoid. Nevertheless, pregnancy in itself can almost be considered life-threatening in places like Niger, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and others.

RFSU's protest takes the form of a so-called "
baby stroller march on a broad front" through the centre of Stockholm. It ends with a list being handed over to the Swedish Minister of International Cooperation, Gunilla Carlsson, containing the following demands:

• that
Sweden and other governments of the rich world commit the SEK 80 (approximately € 8) per year and OECD citizen needed to reduce maternal mortality by 70 percent.
• that the
right to abortion is considered a human right and an important global issue.
• that countries to which Sweden provides
development funds have an action plan for how to reduce maternal mortality, including measures to ensure access to contraceptives, information, safe abortions and medical care during childbirth.

Personally - as a
distributor of RFSU's condoms in Spain (Puck Import, S.L.) - I am very glad that the NGO RFSU has chosen a theme related to developing countries for its International Women's Day campaign and I am confident that it will be a success. A great number of more or less famous Swedes already in advance show their support, either by blogging about it (in Swedish) or by becoming so-called "mother ambassadors".

Those of us who can not be physically present in
Stockholm tomorrow, have the possibility to participate by signing a web petition or joining a Facebook group. Let us all "Unite for Women".

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RFSU’s demand for abortions to be considered a human right is controversial already within the EU, for example in Spain. Zapatero’s Socialist government recently introduced a new liberal abortion law, but today, March 7, we saw several “yes to life-demonstrations"(España Vida Sí) against it. In Madrid, as of the organizers' own figure, as many as 600.000 people took part, while in Barcelona they are said to have been 7.000.

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A similar post in Catalan, Spanish and Swedish.

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Technorati tags: RFSU, Spain,

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