Education has done so much for me. It has made it possible for me to break the shackles of fear, pain and trauma and it has given me a new energy to give back to Liberia, my “crying society.” So many more girls around the world need this same chance in life.
At the only degreed midwifery program in Mexico, women train and then return to their rural roots. It is right in line with a recent United Nations push to fill a global shortfall of 334,000 midwives and improve maternal health outcomes.
In Peru, which has one of the highest illegal abortion rates in Latin America, the sole female presidential candidate is out of the race and women’s groups say sexual and reproductive rights have been missing from the campaign season.
In Peru, female coffee growers have partnered with a U.S. import company to market their own brand of organic, fair-trade coffee. In addition to gaining more economic control, the women are finding their work is changing their culture as well.
After forced sterilizations under Fujimori, Peruvian women now face coercive Toledo programs to increase the birth rate. Such extremes are dangerous for women, who deserve control over their health and reproductive destiny.
Peruvian officials are considering banning tubal ligation–a popular birth-control method–in response to reports of forced sterilizations in the 1990s. Women’s rights advocates oppose the change and are calling for compensation for the victims.