Women deliver for development

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Kirrin GillI, Rohini Pande, Anju Malhotra

This paper argues that maternal health is central to the multiple aspects of many women’s lives, and is critically important for development goals more broadly. As such, maternal health is connected with women’s lives and options as individuals, the well-being of their children and families, and the economic productivity of their countries. The evidence reviewed indicates that a woman’s ability to survive pregnancy and childbirth is closely related to how effectively societies invest in and realize the potential of women–one half of their populations–not only as mothers, but as critical contributors to sustaining families and transforming nations. When investments in women lag, the economic cost of maternal death and illness is enormous.