Kiva Lending Team: Freethinkers & Humanists in Favor of Choice
We loan because...
"THE FACT IS WOMEN HAVE BEEN TRAPPED. Reproduction is used, consciously or not, as a means to control women, to limit their options and to make them subordinate to men. In many societies a serious approach to reproductive health has to have this perspective in mind. We must seek to liberate women." - Dr. Nafis Sadik Executive Director, UN Population Fund -
**** THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD HEALTH & EDUCATION TO A WOMAN'S WELL-BEING - AND THAT OF HER FAMILY & SOCIETY - CANNOT BE OVERSTATED.
- - Without reproductive health and freedom, women cannot fully exercise their fundamental human rights, such as those relating to education and employment. Yet around the world, the right to health, and especially reproductive and sexual health, is far from a reality for many women. According to the World Bank, a full one-third of the illness among women ages 15-44 in developing countries is related to pregnancy, childbirth, abortion, reproductive tract infections, and human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Women's disproportionate poverty, low social status, and reproductive role expose them to high health risks, resulting in needless and largely preventable suffering and deaths. Many of the women and girls who die each year during pregnancy and childbirth could have been saved by relatively low-cost improvements in reproductive healthcare; yet high levels of maternal mortality persist. The benefits of eliminating the harmful and painful practice of female genital mutilation are easily demonstrated, yet it persists for cultural and traditional reasons. And a large proportion of abortions, some resulting in death and injury, would be avoided if women and men had access to safe, affordable and effective means of contraception. - -
www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/women/womrepro.htm - - - - - - - -
**** EVERY MINUTE, A WOMAN DIES IN PREGNANCY OR CHILDBIRTH - - this adds up to more than 10 million over a generation. - - Almost all of these women - 99 per cent - live and die in developing countries. A high maternal death rate is an indicator of an inadequate health care system, including those that offer poor and only limited access to health services. It also indicates that a woman’s fundamental rights to life and health are being violated. - - - Yet the vast majority of maternal deaths could be prevented. In industrialized countries, deaths owing to pregnancy and childbirth are rare. The maternal death rate in East Asia and Latin America has also decreased - by as much as 50 per cent in some countries. But in Africa and South Asia, complications during pregnancy and childbirth remain the most frequent cause of death for women. - - In some countries the number is increasing. And when women suffer and die, children suffer and die also. - - We know what it takes to save women’s lives: universal access to contraception to avoid unintended pregnancies, access to skilled care during delivery, and rapid access to quality emergency obstetric care when required. - - - - -
**** THE CURRENT SITUATION • Every year, 536,000 women die from pregnancy related causes. This adds up to more than 10 million women over a generation. Every year, more than 1 million children are left motherless and vulnerable because of maternal death. Children who have lost their mothers are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those who haven’t. The risk of a woman dying as a result of pregnancy or childbirth during her lifetime is about 1 in 7 in Niger and about 1 in 48,000 in Ireland. 10-15 million women a year suffer severe or long-lasting illnesses or disabilities caused by complications during pregnancy or childbirth. These range from obstetric fistula to infertility and depression. The main reasons for maternal deaths are haemorrhage, infections, unsafe abortions, high blood pressure leading to seizures and obstructed labor. - - - -
**** CONTRACEPTION & UNSAFE ABORTIONS - - - - 200 million women want to delay or avoid pregnancy but are not using effective contraceptives. One in three deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth could be avoided if women who wanted effective contraception had access to it. An estimated 19 million unsafe abortions take place each year in developing countries. Every year, an estimated 68,000 women die as the result of unsafe abortions and millions more suffer complications. About 90% of abortion-related deaths and disabilities worldwide could be avoided if women who wished to had access to effective contraception. - - -
*** SKILLED ASSISTANCE & EMERGENCY OBSTETRIC CARE • The number of maternal deaths is highest in countries where women are least likely to have skilled attendance at delivery. • Worldwide, 62 per cent of births are attended by a skilled health worker. Almost all births in developed countries are attended. In less developed countries, the figure is 57 per cent. In least developed countries it falls to only 34 per cent. • An estimated 35 per cent of pregnant women in developing countries do not have contact with health personnel prior to giving birth. • In sub-Saharan Africa, where most maternal deaths occur, about 70 per cent have no contact with health personnel following childbirth. • Mortality is highest during labour and the two days following a birth. • Women who undergo infibulation—a radical form of female genital mutilation that involves stitching of the external genitalia—are at higher risk of complications during and following childbirth - - www.unfpa.org/safemotherhood/mediakit/documents/fs/factsheet1_eng.pdf
*** "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity":
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Humanist_Association - - - - - - - - - - - -
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. The cognitive application of freethought is known as freethinking, and practitioners of freethought are known as freethinkers: - -
Freethought holds that individuals should neither accept nor reject ideas proposed as truth without recourse to knowledge and reason. Thus, freethinkers strive to build their opinions on the basis of facts, scientific inquiry, and logical principles, independent of any factual/logical fallacies or the intellectually-limiting effects of authority, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, sectarianism, tradition, urban legend, and all other dogmatic or otherwise fallacious principles. Applied to religion, freethinkers have generally held that, given presently-known facts, established scientific theories, and logical principles, there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena. - - - - -
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