Back 8 October 2012

"Why Did Mrs X Die, Retold"

7 October 2012 | ROME – UNFPA Executive Director Dr Babatunde Osotimehin officially opened the 20th World Congress of Gynecology and Obstetrics in Rome, declaring the glass only half full on progress for women’s and children’s health.

“Women are still not all valued as they should be,” he said, calling for greater adoption of a rights-based approach to reaching targets going forward.

He noted a few developments that give him hope for a brighter future ahead: major financial commitments from national governments and donors pledged at the London Summit on Family Planning in July 2012, progress underway to improve access to proven life-saving commodities and efforts to prioritize education for girls.

“I think that there is convergence,” he said. “I think we are moving in the right direction.”

But he said there is still a lot more to accomplish before the job is finished.

“As we move towards 2015 and begin to discuss what we will do in the years beyond, let each one of us in our own countries, our own societies, advocate for women’s health, women’s rights, reproductive health and reproductive rights.”

During the awards portion of the opening ceremony, FIGO honoured three reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health champions: UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet, long-time champion of gender equality and women’s rights; former UK first lady Sarah Brown, a major force behind the recognition of MDG 5 at the international level; and Women Deliver Founder and President Jill Sheffield, who has played a key role marshalling institutional support for maternal health at the global level.

The evening also included the world’s first screening of "Why Did Mrs X Die, Retold" – a short animated film telling the story of one unfortunate woman's journey through pregnancy and childbirth. In doing so, the film paints a picture of the dangers women are facing across the world, and our need to help them. The film was produced by Hands On for Mothers and Babies, an organization making educational tools for women in poor areas of the world.

"Why Did Mrs X Die, Retold" is a remake of the World Health Organization 1980's film "Why Did Mrs Die?" based on a lecture by the founder of the Safe Motherhood Movement, Prof Mahmoud Fathalla.


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