Dhaka, Bangladesh - A campaign titled “What Women Want” was launched on April 11 to learn from at least 1 million women and girls worldwide about how they define quality maternal and reproductive healthcare.
White Ribbon Alliance launched the campaign in Dhaka yesterday at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research, Bangladesh in partnership with Bangladesh Midwifery Society as part of National Safe Motherhood Day celebration.
The programme was aimed to spread the message of the campaign and to call for participations from individuals and organisations.
Halima Akther, president of BMS, who was present at the event, said every expectant mother needs a skilled birth attendant or midwife to be by her side to ensure a safe delivery.
People often have wrong impressions about the profession of midwifery, as the role of traditional midwives -- called “dai” in villages -- lack proper healthcare, she said.
The country now has skilled manpower who have academic qualifications and can help reduce deaths caused by complications during pregnancy and delivery, added Halima while giving a presentation on the role of BMS. About 800 women and girls die every day globally due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications, and every voice is counted in this campaign to find out a global picture of what, according to women, can improve healthcare for them, said Farhana Ahmad, national coordinator of White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), Bangladesh.
What Women Want aims to create awareness about the importance of quality, equity and dignity in female healthcare, support them in getting access to better treatment, and to place their self-articulated needs at the centre of health policies and programmes, according to a note from the WRA.
The global advocacy campaign is guided by a committee comprised of WRA; Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; Every Mother Counts; International Confederation of Midwives and Evidence for Action.