|Breaking the Barriers - Women and the Elimination of World Poverty (DFID, 1999, 24 p.)|
|Education and health|
A key target for the 2Ist century is to reduce maternal mortality rates by three-quarters. This is a huge challenge. DFID's four-point plan for safer motherhood ensures that:
· women have sufficient information to make sound decisions about their health before and during pregnancy;
· good quality services are provided and accessible at all times;
· women in need and their carers can call for help and access services when necessary;
· the safety of motherhood is properly monitored and appropriate action taken as a result of the information obtained.
We are supporting work to implement this plan, with new initiatives now underway in Kenya, Malawi, and Nepal.
Nowhere are the obstacles faced by women to health - and the inequalities faced by poor women -revealed more starkly than in the figures for maternal mortality. The tragedy and indecency is that we know the major causes of maternal mortality, and the kind of care that pregnant women need when things go wrong. Without better access to improved basic obstetric care for those who need it, women will continue to die in pregnancy and childbirth. We must do better. These are not principally matters of science. They are matter of political and moral choice and will
Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development. Speech on World Population Day, 1997.