PATRIARCHY AND MATERNAL HEALTH
Maternal health is a dynamic discourse which is not only an event but a lifelong process right from birth due to it being cyclic in nature. To analyze the aspect of maternal health is not only an overview of a woman’s heath as this anchors a lot in the life of a girl child, her growth and nurture and with holistic preparation which enables her confidently, competently and responsibly take up the future socioeconomic, cultural and political changes that transpires in the society and eventually defining her as a woman.
Various institutions, right from religion to other governmental and non-governmental institutions of development have tremendously impacted on the overall achievement of maternal health. Whilst this maybe done unconsciously the responsibility to define women’s rights to achievement of solidarity by both genders is imperative to achievement of a healthy society.
The conservative lens with which patriarchy has been viewed with in the society is impeding societal equity in achievement of rights. Patriarchy impact negatively on maternal health and its severity has retarded comprehensive growth of the woman in all dimensions. Its effects equally trickle down to the children. Spiritual, physical, psychological and social health of women has continuously been ignored compromising the right of women to fair and just treatment.
The key issues in many nations such as legalizing abortion, sexual orientation, reproductive and sexual right, access to contraceptives have directly escalated the prevalence of maternal death. A thorough analysis and reflection on the root causes of high maternal death is actually not solely directed to the health institutions but lies in the level of ignorance with which we have taken maternal health matters to be of less priority. This is clearly attributed to duration key players take to deliberate on serious issues of life and death.
Its alarming how there is high rates of abortions whether legal or illegal, high rate of adolescence pregnancies and school dropout, increasing prevalence of young mothers and associated challenges they phase, men-to-women ration in positions of leadership. Triangulating these intertwining aspects gives a glimpse of the magnitude of the impacts of patriarchy on maternal health.
It is high time we put on a lens of reality to salvage the health of women and children through implementation of set out policies, women representation, and provision of social amenities that serves all in the society irrespective of their levels of ability especially in the health institutions.
It is more than lobbying and advocacy but it is time for implementation and verification of the same holding parties responsible accountable.