Mum's the word

I’ll be heading back to Leamington Spa this weekend to see my mum, armed with a mothers’ day card and a badly-wrapped book that she’s probably already read.

As you may have noticed online and in the press, there’s been a lot of focus on mums this week ahead of mothers’ day, starting with a march across Millennium Bridge on Monday and culminating in today’s “Minute for Mothers”. We’ve joined forces with Save the Children, Oxfam and other organisations to highlight the global scandal of maternal mortality, which sees one women dying every minute from pregnancy and childbirth complications that are mostly preventable.

Today’s event, organised by Save the Children, will see 3,000 white roses laid across Old Palace Yard opposite parliament to represent the 3,000 pregnant women that will lose their lives this Mother’s Day weekend. The facts are pretty horrific:

-Two million children every year die on the day they are born
-Many women in the developing world face as great a risk of dying in childbirth today that British mothers did 100 years ago.
-Women in the poorest countries are the worst affected. The risk of maternal death in Sweden is only one in nearly 30,000; in Sierra Leone it is one in eight.

However it’s not a problem that’s confined to the developing world. Amnesty released a report earlier today looking at maternal health in the USA, which doesn’t make encouraging reading. Between two and three pregnant women die every day in the US and complications affect one-third of all pregnant women – 1.7 million women a year. What’s more, discrimination plays a frighteningly big part: African-American women in the US are nearly four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women.  In high-risk pregnancies, the disparities are even greater; African-American women are five and a half times more likely to die than white women.

We’re asking people to take action to tackle this global problem. Here in the UK we’re asking people to go to www.amnesty.org.uk/mums and send a message to political leaders to make maternal health a real priority.

Some of our famous supporters from the arts and entertainment world have shown their support in a short film.

And for those Tweeters amongst you, Save the Children are asking people to tweet this message:

Mums matter. Every min of every day, a mum dies. Their babies often die 2. Help @stcuk stop this 2day. Pls RT

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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