Global perspective Human stories

UN Gender Focus: maternal mortality, hospital in Sri Lanka and role of women in peacebuilding

UN Gender Focus: maternal mortality, hospital in Sri Lanka and role of women in peacebuilding


Impressive drop in maternal mortality rates

Maternal mortality rates worldwide have dropped by almost 44 per cent over the last 15 years. That’s according to a report released by the United Nations. The report indicates that maternal deaths around the world fell from about 532,000 in 1990, to an estimated 303,000 this year. Maternal mortality is defined as a woman’s death caused by pregnancy, childbirth or within 6 weeks of having a baby. Veronica Reeves has the story.

Sri Lankan maternity hospital reborn after 2004 tsunami

Kerstin Jeska-Thorwart. Photo: Rotary International/Monika Lozinska

More than 160,000 Sri Lankan children born since the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami can thank a German lawyer for their safe start in life. Kersten Jeska-Thorwart was celebrating Christmas at her home on the island nation when the tsunami struck, killing more than 200,000 people in 14 countries. Moved by the overwhelming loss and destruction, she mobilized more than 200 Rotary Clubs in Germany to contribute to the rebuilding of a maternity hospital. For this effort, Ms Jeska-Thorwart was named one of six ‘Global Women of Action’ by Rotary, the charitable organization which has a long history with the United Nations. She told Dianne Penn about the story behind ‘Baby Hospital Galle.’

Photo exhibit highlights women’s roles in peacebuilding

Photo Exhibit. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Women’s contributions to ending war and bringing about peace are being honoured in a photo exhibition which has just opened at UN Headquarters in New York City. ‘Poppies: Women and War’ features portraits of women and girls whose lives have been affected by conflict alongside images of the flower that serves as a reminder of those who died in battle. Dianne Penn has the story.

Presenter: Daniel Dickinson

Production Assistant: Sandra Guy

Duration: 10'00″

Audio Duration
Photo Credit
Stephanie Coutrix