Women hold up half the sky, and that women in Texas are demonstrating that this week as thousands are rallying to prevent a strict anti-abortion bill for passing in the state. Although women’s oppression is much more than family planning, it’s a huge example of what women can accomplish when they come together for women’s health and other issues. With this in mind, here are 22 more fast facts about women’s oppression worldwide, this time regarding maternal mortality and economic empowerment.
Maternal Mortality and Maternal Morbidity
- Every day, between 800 and 1500 women die from preventable
causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- Approximately 99 percent of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries and maternal mortality is higher among women living in rural areas and among poorer communities.
- The United States has a higher ratio of maternal deaths than at least 40 other countries, even though it spends more money per capita for maternity care than any other.
- More than one million children are left motherless every year due to their mother’s death and these children are 3 to 10 times more likely to die within two years.
- Only 57 percent of women in developing countries give birth with a skilled medical professional present and in sub-Saharan Africa, only 40 percent of women give birth with a trained professional present.
- About 80 percent of maternal deaths are caused by one of the following causes: severe bleeding, infections, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), and obstructed labor.
- An estimated 135 million girls living today have undergone FGM and another 2 million girls are at risk each year.
- Almost 14 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth every year, accounting for nearly 10 percent of all childbirths.
- By 2015, another 330,000 midwives will be needed to achieve universal reproductive health coverage for expecting mothers.
- Between 500,000 and 2 million women in the world are currently living with fistulas. This number grows every single year by 30,000-50,000 new cases.
- Approximately 70 percent of the world’s poor are women and girls.
- Women earn less than 10 percent of the world’s wages, but do more than two-thirds of the world’s work.
- Women reinvest 90 percent of their income into their families, while men invest only 30 to 40 percent. In Brazil, when income is in the hands of the mother, the survival probability of a child increases by about 20 percent.
- According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the United States ranks 19th in the world in the area of economic participation for women and 46th in the area of economic opportunity.
- It is estimated that if women’s paid employment rates were increased to the same level as men’s, the U.S. gross domestic product (GOP) would be 9 percent higher; the euro area’s would be 13 percent higher, and Japan’s would be 16 percent higher.
- Where women are better represented in national government, they also tend to be better represented in top administrative positions as well as in the labor force at large.
- Women remain severely underrepresented in occupations that are traditionally male-dominated (e.g., formal professions, skilled labor, civil service positions) even though these jobs pay 20 to 30 percent more than traditionally female jobs (e.g., caretaking, textile and garment work, retail, food preparation).
- Studies show that when women have secure rights to their land, their families’ nutrition and health improve. In addition, women may be less likely to be victims of domestic violence and children are more likely to receive an education and stay in school longer.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, women own less than 2 percent of the land, but produce more than 90 percent of the food.
- In developing countries, women and girls are most often responsible for household and community water management and travel great distances in search of water, which limits their time for other activities, including doing income-generating work.
- South African women collectively walk the equivalent of a trip to the moon (384,400
kilometers or 238,855 miles) and back 16 times a day to supply their households
- In one out of three households around the world, women are the sole breadwinners.