Human Rights to Safe Motherhood

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 76, pp. 225-231, 2002

7 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2006

See all articles by Rebecca J. Cook

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Bernard Dickens

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Abstract

Each year an estimated 515 000 women die of complications of pregnancy and childbirth, 7 million more suffer serious health problems and 50 million suffer adverse health effects. Over 98% of deaths occur in resource-poor countries. However, poverty alone neither justifies nor necessarily explains death rates. The Inter-Agency Group for Safe Motherhood, composed of six leading international agencies, has identified major medical causes of unsafe motherhood, and their origins in medical and health system failures, and in the failures of social justice that underlie them. These include women's 'inadequate education, low social status, and lack of income and employment opportunities.' This paper addresses the role of human rights to redress inequities that condition unsafe motherhood, and identifies five critical rights the observance of which would facilitate safe motherhood. These are women's rights to life, to liberty and security of the person, and to health, maternity protection and non-discrimination

Keywords: Human rights, Women's human rights, Safe motherhood, Unsafe motherhood, Inter-Agency Group for Safe Motherhood, Maternal mortality, Maternal morbidity, Right to life, Non-discrimination

JEL Classification: I18, K19

Suggested Citation

Cook, Rebecca J. and Dickens, Bernard, Human Rights to Safe Motherhood. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 76, pp. 225-231, 2002. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=945716

Rebecca J. Cook

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park Cr.
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)

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