No woman deserves to die due to pregnancy or childbirth. Yet the Philippines’ maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate rank among the highest in Asia. The state of maternal health in this country is alarming – the result no doubt of the Philippines having one of the lowest investments on health in the region, aggravated by increasing hunger, poverty and income inequalities.
The campaign “Saving Women’s Lives” initiated by WomanHealth Philippines is an urgent task in which women in the communities can and must take active interest and decisive role, in collaboration with health program officials and providers. It is, in essence, their right to health and their right to life they are fighting for.
The May 28 Forum is organized by the Global Call to Action Against Poverty-Philippines through its Feminist Task Force led by WomanHealth Philippines together with Piglas-Kababaihan, Kilusan para sa Makatarungang Lipunan at Gobyerno at KASAMA-Pilipina. The Forum is preceded by discussions among women from six communities in Quezon City to raise awareness and alarm on the problem of maternal health and maternal mortality, and high-risk teenage pregnancy, in the metropolitan area. Through these discussions, women surface their issues and problems, share stories, and translate these creatively to produce a tapestry
Speakers at the Forum will come from these community women, health officials of the Department of Health and Quezon City, the Quezon City Council and WomanHealth. Highlights of the event will be a Photo Exhibit on Teenage Pregnancy, and of the Community Activities, as well as the presentation of the Tapestry of Women’s Stories and Experiences on the theme.
Co-sponsoring the May 28 Forum are the Department of Health, Office of Q.C. Vice-Mayor Herbert Bautista, the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development, and PETA-Women’s Theater Program.
The May 28 activities is GCAP-Philippines’ contribution to the national campaign “Saving Women’s Lives” as well as to the GCAP-SENCA regional campaign on maternal mortality.