Targeting poverty and gender inequality to improve maternal health

Publication year


Publication Author

Silvia Paruzzolo, Rekha Mehra, Aslihan Kes, Charles Ashbaugh

Hundreds of thousands of women die every year in childbirth or from pregnancy-related causes. Virtually all of these maternal deaths occur in poor countries. In order to reduce maternal deaths and improve the overall life chances of poor mothers, policy and programs must address poverty and gender inequality, two inter-related, root causes of maternal death.

This paper, prepared for Women Deliver 2010, examines the ways in which poverty and gender inequality impact maternal mortality by creating barriers to maternal healthcare access and utilization. It also analyzes strategies designed to increase utilization to identify best practices.

An executive summary of this report is available:
in English

in Spanish
in French