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Women Giving life

A couple of months ago, I took a young woman of 19 who was in labour to the hospital. She was single, unemployed and with no family to speak of at the time. My organisation paid for the materials for her and her baby and waited and prayed at the hospital until she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy weighing 3.4kg at birth. She survived the birth and is safe and happy with her baby.

The next morning on getting to the hospital with food for our hungry new mother, I met a woman who had just had her baby a few minutes earlier. Her baby was wrapped in a strange looking material which I later realized was her skirt and she had on a wrapper borrowed from one of the nurses at the hospital. She had nothing with her for the baby and herself and was looking lost and alone. On further interaction, I found out that she was married and had just had her third child. I asked her if I could call anyone and she asked me to call her Pastor's wife, which I did.

I know what you'll be thinking... where was her husband?, Where was her family? No woman should have to go through such an experience alone!!... The truth was, she had no idea where her husband was at that time and a relative who was living with her, had to stay home to take care of her little kids while she came to the hospital alone to have her baby. in spite of 9 months notice, she was unable to afford to buy the basic necessities for herself and her baby since she was a housewife and earning no money. She opted to have her baby at that hospital because the government had removed user fees for maternal health.

A few weeks later on a visit to another hospital, a doctor i know introduced me to a woman who had been in the hospital for about a month because she had no money to pay her bills. She was brought in by her husband, nearly unconscious and on referral. The baby was already dead and she could not deliver the baby naturally. The woman and her husband came to the hospital with only Five Hundred Naira (a little less than 4$). The husband was asked to register at the hospital and collect a patients card while the woman was rushed into the theater for an emergency Cesarean Section. The husband left to pay for the card and has not returned till now, six weeks after ... The woman is still in the hospital and my organisation is still trying to raise funds to offset her bills and reunite her with her family.

These are some of the cases which we handle on a day to day basis as advocates for maternal health. Now I ask.. who is the culprit in these cases? The husband? the woman who has no skills and no means of livelihood?, the Government which offers little or no social security and no unemployment benefits? The struggling economy? The CSOs and NGOs who are saying so much and doing so little? or Mr. poverty who is no respecter of nationality, gender, race or ethnicity?

These women survived, but MILLIONS of women die needlessly in childbirth for the same reasons. Does abandonment at this critical time in a woman's life constitute violence against women? What can we do to improve the lot of women and ensure that they can be self reliant and self sufficient? What can we do to ensure that women do not die needlessly while giving life?

Please let me have your thoughts.

Thanks.

Comments

Carri Pence's picture

You have brought so much

You have brought so much inspiration to those with little or no hope. And the PulseWire community praises you for your efforts in making women feel less vulnerable. The question you as is who is to blame. And the first thought that came to my head was that you can't blame the women or her husband. They most likely don't have the resources to be provided the best possible outcome where lack of education makes it hard to have a stable future. Thus, I place the blame on...no one. the fact is that there are too many factors to put all the eggs in one basket. Furthermore, if we place to much blame we lose focus on solution and have a negative experience rather than a positive one

Akwugo's picture

Thanks

Hello Carri,

Thanks for your contribution. I totally agree with you that laying blame is not the solution or even a pathway to the solution. it is indeed a multifaceted problem with multifaceted solutions. Furthermore, I believe that if women (especially in this part of the world) can be better educated or even trained so as to earn a living and to improve their livelihoods so that they are less dependent on their families or husbands, some of these problems can be avoided.

olutosin's picture

Weldone sister...

Thanks so much for all your good deeds, may God bless you, we continue to ask so much questions about who should do this or that, we know where teh bulk lies but we believe so much in humanity, that
one by one we will try our best to touch lives too....
Pls continue the good deeds....if the government has failed us, we can decide not to fail our women...continue working pls.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Akwugo's picture

Thank you

Olutosin,

Thank You for your comments and encouragement. We will continue to do what we can.

MOMMY's picture

Kudos Akwugo!!!

My dear,if we continue to ask questions we may never move forward. We all owe it as a duty to contribute to our society in our own little way no matter how small.

If everyone can be like me,you,Carri Pence,Olutosin Oladosu and every other person who believes in the service to humanity,then we can act collectively and give hope to the hopeless,voice to the voiceless.

Kudos my dear and keep up the good work.

Julie Okeke
President
MOMS CLUB NIGERIA
7B OGUTA ROAD
ONITSHA

MOMS

Akwugo's picture

Thank you Ma

Madam,

Thank You for your comments and encouragement, I agree with you that questions are not the answer but it is also true that we must discover the root causes of any problem before we can attempt a solution. On our part my organisation works with individual women who are victims of abandonment, abuse and violence. You will be interested to know that the woman who we are currently trying to assist is from Nsugbe in Anambra State. We are still trying to locate her family in Delta but have been unable to send anyone down to her village yet. Please let me know if there is anyway you can help.

Thanks again,

Akwugo

MOMMY's picture

You are always welcome!!!

Dear Akwugo,

Sure I can help and let me know where i can come in. Am resident here in Anambra state and will like to know what part of Delta or Nsugbe is she from. The essence of this forum is to network with one another.

You are always welcome my dear.

Julie.

MOMS

jap21's picture

Hi Akwugo

It is so heartbreaking to read about these sisters... I don´t know what is the right way to feel, if angry or sad or both...

In my mind and heart, there only is one way to go about this. First, make more people like you work well and keep up the good work, and second, but not less important, we must change our basic definitions of many words. Poverty, for example, needs to be redefined. As of now, violence is seen as a consequence of poverty. In my view, poverty IS violence. When we begin to see how violence works its way in the lives of women, we definitely admit that it is not fair to blame a woman for being poor, but our whole societies for being violent towards them, and for making them poor through violence.

Violence and poverty... the most wicked sickness of our time... and the most wide spread. Hopefully, we will change this starting right here, through being opinionated, through changing our definitions towards more inclusive ones.

Thanks for your work.

Love,

Jackie

Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America
www.jap21.wordpress.com

monimambo's picture

Disgrace

Thank you my dear sister for sharing this with us here, am so much moved by this
I even lack words to express myself. Poverty is the source of all this and not to forget bad governance
When will we ever learn, the fact that women are carrying the reproductive system doesnt mean that they should be left to suffer at this critical moments. Where did the father of the baby go, if he knew he is not able to bring up a kid then why create one and run away from responsibility, lots of men have failed big time.
Am calling on women to take their position and know do something since they are the victims here.
When a child is hungry who does he/she call, her mum why??
Women should be empowered on little ways of making money coz this will help a great deal and also learn about birth control methods, very important indeed.

Keep us well informed

Monicah Wayua

Nusrat Ara's picture

A well raised question

A well raised question indeed. We have a habit of seeing violence against women either physical ( as in beating ) or mental. You have added a new dimension to it. It needs some thought.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and the stories.

Nusrat

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