Women's Health

Against All the Odds: Maternity and Mortality in Afghanistan

Nasrin Mohamadi, a mother of four, has promised herself never to set foot in an Afghan public hospital again. After her first experience in a maternity ward, she has lost all faith in the state’s healthcare system.

OPINION: Investing in Adolescent Girls for Africa’s Development

Adolescence is a time of transition from childhood to adulthood. It is also a time of change and challenge. 

How Niger’s Traditional Leaders are Promoting Maternal Health

It is a long, 14-hour drive from Niger’s capital city Niamey to the village of Bande. And the ride is a dreary one as the roadside is bare. The occasional, lone goat herder is spotted every few kilometres and the sightings become a cause of both confusion and excitement since there aren’t any trees, or watering holes in sight.

No Easy Choices for Syrians with Small Children

The woman who walked into the Islamic Front (IF) media office near the Turkish border was on the verge of fainting under the hot Syrian sun, but all she cared about was her infant son.

OPINION: Iraq On the Precipice

The catastrophic events in Iraq that are unfolding daily are more significant than at any point in recent memory.

Afghan “Torn” Women Get Another Chance

"The smell of faeces and urine isolates them completely. Their husbands abandon them and they become stigmatised forever” – Dr Pashtoon Kohistani barely needs two lines to sum up the drama of those women affected by obstetric fistula.

Arab Region Has World’s Fastest Growing HIV Epidemic

At a time when HIV rates have stabilised or declined elsewhere, the epidemic is still advancing in the Arab world, exacerbated by factors such as political unrest, conflict, poverty and lack of awareness due to social taboos.

Nepal Landslide Leaves Women and Children Vulnerable

Living in a makeshift tarpaulin shelter, which barely protects her family from the torrential rainfall or scorching heat of this remote village in southern Nepal, 36-year-old Kamala Pari is under immense stress, worrying about her financial security and children’s safety.

How Midwives on Sierra Leone’s Almost Untouched Turtle Islands are Improving Women’s Health

Emmanuel is a male midwife.At the age of 26, he lives and works on one of eight islands off the southwest peninsular of Sierra Leone, an hour by speedboat from Mattru Jong, the capital of Bonthe District.

Bangladeshi Girls Seek Equal Opportunity

Until five years ago, Shima Aktar, a student in Gajaghanta village in the Rangpur district of Bangladesh, about 370 km northwest of the capital Dhaka, was leading a normal life. But when her father decided that it was time for her to conform to purdah, a religious practice of female seclusion, things changed.

India: Home to One in Three Child Brides

Basanti Rani*, a 33-year-old farmers’ wife from the northern Indian state of Haryana, recently withdrew her 15-year-old daughter Paru from school in order to marry her off to a 40-year-old man.

Helping Uganda’s HIV positive Women Avoid Unplanned Pregnancies

Barbara Kemigisa used to call herself an “HIV/AIDS campaigner”. These days she would rather be known as an “HIV/AIDS family planning campaigner”.

East Africa Breaks the Silence on Menstruation to Keep Girls in School

When Peninah Mamayi got her period last January, she was scared, confused and embarrassed. But like thousands of other girls in the developing world who experience menarche having no idea what menstruation is, Mamayi, who lives with her sister-in-law in a village in Tororo, eastern Uganda, kept quiet.

One Woman’s Struggle to Find the Right Contraceptive

Beatrice Njeri had just come home from her job as a janitor at a primary school in Nairobi. It was August 2009.

Egypt’s Poor Easy Victims of Quack Medicine

Magda Ibrahim first learnt that she had endometrial cancer when she went to a clinic to diagnose recurring bladder pain and an abnormal menstrual discharge. Unable to afford the recommended hospital treatment, the uninsured 53-year-old widow turned to what she hoped would be a quicker and cheaper therapy.

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