Did you know that 800 mothers die every day in pregnancy or childbirth? That’s a pretty outrageous statistic given the current advances in healthcare. In Somalia, 1 in 16 mothers risks dying in childbirth – compared to just 1 in 4,600 in the UK.
But it’s not difficult to prevent these deaths. 8 out of 10 lives could be saved if women could access basic healthcare and education.
Mothers are at the heart of society – when a mother dies in childbirth, it begins a cycle of death and poverty. When a mother dies, her child is ten times more likely to die too. Without a breadwinner, families are forced further into poverty. The surviving children are often taken out of school, sent out to work or married off at a young age. Young married girls who give birth before the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth.
From 2011-2013, the At Our Mothers’ Feet campaign worked to raise awareness about the problem of global maternal death amongst UK Muslim communities and inspire them to take action to share learning and to support Muslim NGOs to work on maternal health.
Here are some of our proud successes from the At Our Mothers’ Feet campaign:
Through the At Our Mothers’ Feet campaign, Muslim Charity was connected with the White Ribbon Alliance(WRA), a global advocacy movement for women and maternal health. Muslim Charity was inspired by WRA’s approach of focusing on women’s rights and calling on health facilities to implement a charter to maintain certain standards of care.
Muslim Charity is piloting this charter in its 5 maternity hospitals in Pakistan and has already trained up its staff. In the future Muslim Charity plans to work with a drama group to run an education campaign about women’s maternity and health rights among rural illiterate communities. We think this is an amazing example of partnership and forward thinking by one of our Muslim charities and we’re very proud of Muslim Charity’s commitment!
SOMALI WOMEN’S GROUP
Back in 2011, a group of Somali women attended a workshop in South London run by one of our super At Our Mothers’ Feet volunteers Hanna Abdi. Hanna’s passionate account of the 1 in 16 women who die during pregnancy or childbirth in Somalia brought many to tears with memories of someone – a friend, a sister, an auntie – in Somalia, they had themselves lost in this way.
The women left that room determined to make a change and they went to call their relatives in Somalia. They found out that women in that area were giving birth at home without a skilled attendant because they were unable to reach a health facility. Why? Simply because there was no road to connect the village. The women’s group in the UK started putting aside a bit of money each week and held fundraisers and have been able to raise enough money to get this project underway. We hope and pray that the new road being built will help to save hundreds of women’s lives in the future!
BUILDING THE MATERNAL HEALTH MOVEMENT
At Our Mothers’ Feet was the first campaign of its kind in the UK Muslim community bringing an issue like maternal health to the fore. Through the hard work of the project team and countless volunteers, we have been able to reach thousands of people with our message that women do not need to die, and inspired hundreds of campaign actions. We have seen mosques, schools, madrasahs, Imams, charities, media personalities and women’s groups united under this one cause. The movement for maternal health in the UK Muslim community has well and truly begun!
There has been great progress over the last few years but the fact remains that there are still 800 women dying every day in pregnancy or childbirth. The movement to save mothers’ lives must continue.
Email email@example.com to get the At Our Mothers’ Feet Campaign Toolkit to support you to run your own maternal health campaign.
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Click here to read more about maternal health
BE A COMMUNITY THAT CALLS FOR WHAT IS GOOD, URGES WHAT IS RIGHT, AND FORBIDS WHAT IS WRONG - QUR’AN 3:104