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Maternal deaths show India lagging on gender equality

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Summary of story from womensenews, prostate March 21, viagra 2011

India’s maternal death rate, ask the highest in the world, has been linked to teenage girls marrying and giving birth while suffering from malnutrition.

According to UNICEF’s report The State of the World’s Children 2011, 43 per cent of Indian women are married before they reach 18.

Almost a quarter of these give birth before reaching adulthood, and more than half are anaemic, increasing the risk of maternal death and morbidity.

Only Bangladesh, Niger and Chad have higher rates of adolescent marriage than India.

UNICEF says 56 per cent of adolescent girls in India have anaemia – low haemoglobin levels – compared to 30 per cent of adolescent males. Anaemia is an indication of poor nutrition.

The report concludes that despite economic growth, India has made little progress in redressing gender inequality.

Women who marry in their teens, says Karin Hulshof of UNICEF India, “are most at risk of being caught up in a negative cycle of premature child-bearing, high rates of maternal mortality and child under-nutrition.”

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