International concerns

The described problems associated with maternal and infant mortality, sexual violence and genital mutilation are by no means a new phenomenon but nevertheless have not always been prioritized by the international community. The year 1994 was in that matter a turning point; during the International Conference on Populations and Development in Cairo more than 20,000 delegates of different UN agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) gathered to discuss inter alia gender and child issues like mortality and morbidity rates. This conference ended in the a adoption of a 20-year Programme of Action, also called the Cairo Consensus, to decrease maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. 

Millenium Development Goals

In September 2000, A few years after the International Conference on Populations and Development , the world leaders joined again together at the United Nations Headquarter in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, setting out a series of time-bound targets concerning poverty, maternal mortality and education - with a deadline of 2015 - that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals. Although the Millennium Development Goals represent the widest commitment in history to address global poverty and ill health anno 2013 not all the targets have or even will be met within the last two years. According to the United Nations the set goal at 2015 of reducing the maternal mortality rate worldwide with 75%, the fifth goal, is unreachable.  Within the first thirteen years of the project the MMR dropped with 50% while only two years remain to reach the other 25%. Specific deficits have been detected in the project process  most importantly (1) ongoing obstructed access to maternal health care and (2) substandard averages of births attended by skilled health personnel.

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Three Delays Model

Since a few years the so called ‘three delays model’ has been asserted as tool to identify problems in reaching a dropdown or MMR. The first level of delay is concerned with the decision to seek care. Problems in this phase can occur as a result of lacking knowledge, recognition, cultural believes and convictions or previous experiences with health systems and can be prevented by providing adequate and cultural sensitive education to women and their social environment concerning maternal health.
The second level of delay is related to reaching a health care facility. Safely and timely arriving at a centre can be impaired or endangered by issues like lacking (financial means for) transportation or unequal (or even absent) distribution of health care facilities. Especially the current unequal distribution of medical care within many developing countries reflects a highly problematic situation. Although four-fifth of India’s population lives in rural areas only one-fifth of the physicians are settled there.

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Sexual Violence and the MDGs

'The eradication of sexual violence and achieving the MDGs are mutually related.
Gender-based violence directly jeopardizes the achievement of the MDGs related to gender equality and the empowerment of women, infant and maternal health and mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS' (UNFPA, 2005). Poverty is proven

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Normative Framework on Sexual Violence

Since 2000, with the adoption of resolution 1325, a broad set of norms has been established concerning sexual violence in (post) conflict settings. 'Women , Peace and Secutiry' has become a seperate topic and sexual violence has since than for the first time been acknowledged as threat to women and girls during and after armed conflicts.

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