In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 2009, the most recent UNICEF publication is devoted to child rights.

The State of the World’s Children 2009 by UNICEF examines critical issues in maternal and newborn health, underscoring the need to establish a comprehensive continuum of care for mothers, newborns and children. The report outlines existing paradigms in health programming and policies for mothers and newborns, and explores policies, programmes and partnerships aimed at improving maternal and neonatal health.

Africa and Asia are a key focus for this report, which complements the previous year’s issue on child survival. It focuses on maternal mortality, one of the most intractable problems for development work. The authors show that the difference in pregnancy risk between women in developing countries and their peers in the industrialized world is often termed the greatest health divide in the world. They highlight that this gap is a multidisciplinary challenge and requires an emphasis on education, human resources, community involvement and social equality.

The report demonstrates that having a child remains one of the biggest health risks for women worldwide. Fifteen hundred women die every day while giving birth – a half a million mothers every year.

The State of the World’s Children 2009 also focuses on addressing maternal mortality, one of the most challenging development problems.The difference in pregnancy risk between women in developing countries and their peers in the industrialized world is often termed the greatest health divide in the world.

Addressing that gap is a multidisciplinary challenge, requiring an emphasis on education, human resources, community involvement and social equality. The report shows that at a minimum, women must be guaranteed antenatal care, skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetrics, and postpartum care. This is not only for her wellbeing, but also to promote the rights and wellbeing of her child. This requires a strengthened commitment to health services for women and adolescent girls. The report also argues that at a minimum, women must be guaranteed antenatal care, skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetrics, and postpartum care. These essential interventions can only be guaranteed within the context of improved education and the abolition of discrimination. Learn More



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Equity for Children is an initiative of the Graduate Program of International Affairs (GPIA) at The New School in New York City. Our organization strives to advance an agenda of social justice, human rights and social equality for children worldwide in order to strengthen children’s well being by diminishing child poverty, marginalization and inequality.