Indigenous Women’s Maternal Health and Maternal Mortality

Publication Date: March 2018
Author: UNPFA, UNICEF and UN Women

The evidence from the available data on indigenous women’s maternal health tells us that across the globe, indigenous women and adolescent girls experience significantly worse maternal health outcomes than majority populations.  Yet due to a lack of data, this alarming situation is concealed, preventing effective action to address it.

To help draw attention to this issue, this fact sheet, developed by UNFPA, UNICEF and UN Women, brings together the available data from 16 low- and middle-income countries on the maternal health status of indigenous women and adolescent girls, analysing the barriers behind these huge disparities, and identifying actions that can be taken to close the gap.

The fact sheet was developed in direct follow-up to a recommendation from the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issue at its fifteenth session in 2016. 

Related content

Resources
This summary presents a description of the analysis of recommendations made at working sessions of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). The study also reviews the implementation of these recommendations by United Nations Member States. 
Publications

Fifty years ago, it was hard for women to obtain contraception and relatively easy to die giving birth. Many women were unable to decide whom and when to marry, and when or whether to have children.

 

News
In the Khmer language, “crossing the river” is a way to describe childbirth, meaning a journey that should go smoothly but could just as easily go wrong. For Bora, "crossing the river" took a harrowing turn.

Pages