PRESS BRIEFING: PIGA DEBE FOR WOMEN’S RIGHTS CAMPAIGN : The United Nations Millennium Campaign has commissioned a study to review the progress African governments are making towards meeting Millennium Development Goals with specific reference to Gender equality and empowerment of Women(Goal 3) and Improving maternal health (Goal 5). The study will be used to launch a campaign “PIGA DEBE” for Women’s Rights” in the month of March 2009.
PIGA DEBE in Swahili literally means to make noise or shout. The “PIGA DEBE” campaign draws its inspiration from women’s voices in Africa who have repeatedly shouted over the years that “Enough is enough, no more deaths in child birth”.
While many African countries are making tremendous progress, there are gaps in achieving MDGs and risks of backsliding in some of the areas where targets are being met. In general, there are challenges in meeting Goal 3 (gender equality and empowerment of Women) and goal No 5 (improving maternal health) in many countries. Even in countries like Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa and others that have made real progress on Gender equality and empowerment of Women, the progress on Goal No 5 is lagging behind. In countries like Malawi that have greatly reduced Child mortality, the number of women dying in Child birth remains as intolerably high as in other African countries.
The official statistics reveal a shocking trend of mothers dying in circumstances that are preventable. Despite the fact that some countries have invested on provision of basic health care, in developing countries, only 35% of births are attended by skilled health workers.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman has 1 in 16 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth, compared to a 1 in 4,000 risk in a developing country - every minute a woman dies from childbirth
- More than half a million women die in pregnancy and childbirth every year: of these deaths, 99 % are in developing countries
- Neonatal mortality accounts for almost 40 % of estimated 9.7 million children under-five deaths and for nearly 60 % of infant (under-one) deaths
- Niger, is one of the poorest countries in Africa, and the most dangerous place to give birth with women facing an astonishing 1 in 7 chance of dying
- Nigeria makes up 2% of the world’s population, it accounts for 10% of its maternal deaths
- Every extra year a girl spends at school could reduce child mortality by 10%
Africa remains the only region of the world that risk not meeting most of the goals by 2015 if citizens do not redouble their efforts to pressurize their governments to adopt the appropriate policies, MDG-based National Planning and Budgeting prioritization to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs. We need a concerted action by all stake holders to ensure that by 2015, the promises made to women are not broken.
Performance on MMR in Africa demands that citizens must put more pressure on governments to deliver as they still have an opportunity to accelerate progress in this area before 2015. Most of the deaths affecting women are preventable. This is a violation of basic human rights of women----rights to life, health and equality.
The Millennium Campaign is an inter- agency of the United Nations formed to mobilise citizens around the world to pressure their governments to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Working in more than 30 rich and poor nations, the Campaign partners with non-profit, non-governmental organizations and civil society in general, from the international to the local level to inspire grassroots movements toward the achievement of the MDGs
In line with our mandate to support citizens in their efforts to hold governments accountable for the achievement of the MDGs, the United Nations Millennium Campaign Africa works with citizens across six constituencies –civil society organizations, parliamentarians, local authorities, youth, media and the private sector – in Africa.
Last Updated (Friday, 10 August 2012 08:10)