Dear UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet,
I am so delighted and honored to represent and be the voice of women in my community. Also am very excited and grateful for the formation of the UN Women and would love to congratulate you on your post as the Executive Director for UN Women.
I am Ruun Abdi from Somalia, a researcher and peace activist. Empowering of women and girls is my main focus. One of the main concerns in Somalia is lack of knowledge and the child and mother mortality.
Infant, child and maternal mortality rates in Somalia are chronically high due to the long running crisis and resultant poverty and collapse of services.
Insecurity and poor access to the health care facilities as a result of the collapse of public institutions and lack of skilled medical staff makes Somalia one of the challenging countries in the world. Vaccination campaigns sometimes do not reach the mobile nomadic groups in the rural areas as they move from one place to another place.
Lack of knowledge for the importance of vaccination is another issue that increases the child and mother mortality rate as some mothers are not aware of the consequence if they don’t vaccinate their infants or themselves as well.
For example, Measles and its complications are serious threats to children. When outbreaks occur in malnourished populations with low levels of vaccination – the disease can spread rapidly resulting in high numbers of deaths.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has also an effect on child mortality. Girls undergo female circumcision between 5-12 years old in Somalia. The exposed vagina of clitoridectomized women is more likely to be infected resulting in high risk of stillbirths and premature births than the closed vagina of infibulated women.
To save lives of infants and mothers there is a need to get access to free health care facilities, improved Maternal and Child Health (MCH) facilities and availability of essential drugs. This also needs a wide awareness raising and women’s empowerment to be carried out in the community through media and trainings.
Provision of basic health care services can be complemented by giving supports to the development of institutional capacities, including training of health care personnel, support to the development of policies and continued health sector reform and coordination.
At this point I would love to ask the UN Women to put free access to health care facilities to save mother and child mortality in their agendas.
Regards, Ruun Abdi Puntland, Somalia.
As the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women officially begins its work this month, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What is YOUR vision and recommendation for UN Women? We invite you to raise your voice by writing a letter to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet outlining your recommendation for how this new UN agency can truly affect change on the ground to promote gender equality and uphold the rights and needs of women both on a local and global scale. Learn more: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/international-violence-agai...UN Women: Visions and Recommendations