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Women’s eNews Examines Progress Towards MDGs In Bangladesh

Though Bangladesh is “on track” to meet most of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets laid out by the U.N., “many female-focused targets, including maternal mortality are lagging far behind,” writes Women’s eNews, adding that “progress has stalled” at 351 deaths per 100,000, “a point far above the 2014 target figure of 144.” The country allotted “nearly 1.17 billion for ‘health and family welfare'” in its 2010-2011 budget but will need “an estimated $1.85 billion in additional foreign assistance allotted for maternal health specifically to decrease the maternal mortality to its target ration.”

The Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee’s (BRAC), “engrained social programs, as well as strong leadership and networks in Bangladesh, have been widely credited with bringing sweeping social changes to the country,” according to the news service.

Sheepa Hafiza, director of BRAC’s gender, justice, diversity and advocacy branch, notes that funding alone won’t curb pregnancy-related deaths and injuries. “Maternal mortality will not reduce until gender disparities within the households are addressed,” she said. “You have health projects where young mothers are targeted, but the elder decision makers in the family are not involved. That woman may not be able to decide whether she gets to see a doctor or not.”

The article also examines progress in primary girls’ education and high dropout rates among older girls (Lieberman, 7/8).

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