It is undisputed that the current status of maternal health around the world is in desperate need of social, economic, and political aid. Mostly centered around rural regions, maternal health and mortality continues to feel the impact of reduced government spending, lack of health care supplies, lack of education, women’s social status, increase poverty, and lack of trained attendants. However, improved access to and quality of health care is only part of the solution.
Women need a network, a system, a force. Fairly recently, women’s movements and organizations received the support they had been searching for when the International Labor Organization joined forces with League of Nations and created an inter-state cooperation. They used these international agents as leverage to gain legitimacy, membership, and establish centrality. Women’s organizations were then able to grow into supra-international bodies.
Women’s movements, especially those centered around health, can improve women’s social status and improve equality across the board. The provide a forum to share experiences, learn from each other, and adopt effective goals and strategies.
Although it is a stretch to apply these ideas to the rural regions of China, India, and Mongolia, we must adopt the concepts behind such movements to fit within the cultural atmosphere of each place. The key point to remember is that a global and cultural movement works in concert with localized tactics, while individually they are useless.
Take, for example, Half the Sky. Umbrella message, but unique interventions that cater to individual cultural needs.