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The Role of Human Rights in Reducing Maternal Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa Approaches of Development NGOs

Guerra, Laura

Maternal mortality is a prevalent problem around the world, but it disproportionately affects developing countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa. Over the last four decades, there have been substantial shifts in the discourse surrounding maternal mortality. The issue has gone from being considered a matter of development to being increasingly recognized as a human rights priority. There have also been changes in development discourse more broadly, as human rights-based approaches (HRBAs) have gained support. This thesis examines whether the shifts in discourse are reflected in the maternal health practices of four development NGOs: CARE International, Pathfinder International, Women and Children First and Jhpiego. It considers the organizations’ maternal mortality programs in sub-Saharan Africa and finds that they present some inconsistencies with a human rights perspective of maternal mortality and with HRBAs. It argues that these inconsistencies undermine women’s human rights and that development NGOs working on maternal mortality should be more consistent in their commitment to human rights by reflecting it in their practice.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Braun, Rainer
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
May 22, 2019
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