By Danmore Chuma.
An international development organisation, ONE.org has made shocking revelations that women in Africa are likely to die from pregnancy 100 times more than their counterparts in Europe as they are more vulnerable to poverty and diseases.
Speaking during a Zimbabwe Policy Forum entitled Poverty is Sexist in Harare, recently, ONE.org Director Dr Sipho S Moyo bemoaned increasing levels of women and girls dying giving birth in Sub- Saharan Africa due to poor maternity health care as a threat to the development of the African woman.
‘’Poverty affects women more than it would affect any other gender. Whilst poverty affects everyone, it affects women worse and you are likely to be exposed to poverty if you were born a woman.
‘’A woman in Africa is 100 times likely to die from pregnancy than in Switzerland. More women in Africa are more exposed to poverty and diseases than their male counterparts in Europe.
According to the Zimbabwe Women Resource Centre Network (ZWRCN) Report, 1,300 to 2,800 women and girls die from pregnancy related complications and 26,000 to 84,000 women and girls are disabled by pregnancy and child birth complications yearly.
In Zimbabwe most women in rural areas and some slum urban communities give birth at home increasing chances of death.
Reasons have often been poor education and financial challenges by most rural women according to research.
About 25% of pregnant women in Zimbabwe die from HIV related diseases.
Malaria and hemorrhaging have been implicated as the other major causes of pregnancy death.
She bemoaned the increasing gender gap between male and female and called on African governments to act in addressing the problem.
This year was declared by the African Union which Zimbabwe is the chair, as the year of women empowerment towards Agenda 2063.
Speaker of Parliament Honourable Edna Madzongwe officially opened the policy forum.