By Rosamma Thomas | The Times of India | 19 May 2016
JAIPUR: The reasons for babies emerging from the womb with their health severely compromized are not hard to find. When the mother is an anaemic teenager, the infant gets little nutrition in the womb. In the span of less than a month, 12 newborns have died at a government hospital in Ajmer. Hospital authorities say this is "unfortunate", a "coincidence". The health of mothers, however, goes unremarked.
At a four-day conference 'Women Deliver' at Copenhagen, still ongoing, over 5,000 delegates from 169 countries are deliberating on the need for greater investment in girls and women. The delegates will focus on sexual health and reproductive rights. This conference comes at a time when UNFPA, the arm of the UN engaged with women's issues, announced shrinkage in donations. UNFPA foresees a shortfall of $140 million this year, and might have to shut clinics in Afghanistan and Mozambique.
India is represented at the Women Deliver conference by Delhi-based NGO CREA. "Making development matter for girls and women", the NGO said in a statement, is the theme of the conference. One of the six sessions that CREA is moderating will discuss how disabled women too can be brought within the purview of the sustainable development goals of the UN.
One Campaign, an international non-profit, has also focused attention on how women might be missing from data. How many hours of paid work women do, whether they own the farm on which they work, and what age a woman was when she had her first baby are hard to find from just looking at national data in most countries.
"Women who are employed, earn on an average 24% less than men. Not one country has gender parity in pay, and gaps exist for women doing the same type of work as men.
Also, women make up close to two-thirds of family workers, or workers who contribute to family business, but do not receive any direct monetary compensation," says a statement about the conference detailing topics that will be discussed.