Use your creative genius to show that moms around the world deserve more! Quality maternal health is not an option, it's a right.
Let’s start with the bad news: For too many women around the world, childbirth is hardly safer today than it was 100 years ago. By the time you’ve finished reading this, a woman will have died from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. And for every woman who dies, 20 more will suffer injury, infection or disease.
Yet the vast majority of maternal deaths (eight in ten, if you want to be precise) could be averted with simple -- often low-cost -- treatments and quality obstetric care.
So it’s time we create some good news. There are plenty of problems in the world we don't know how to solve. Fortunately, this isn't one of them. Moms deserve more. Moms matter. Now, let's make it obvious!
You can meet this challenge with:
- The most retweetable tweet of all time
- A New York Times-worthy column that would make Nick Kristof proud
- An iconic print ad or poster
- Guerrilla marketing or public art that commands immediate Instagarm and yfrog-ing action
- A must-see must-share video that would hold its own against TED's Ads Worth Spreading
- THE UNEXPECTED. YOU DECIDE...GO CRAZY!
The deadline for submissions is April 24th at 11:59pm Pacific.
To submit, simply email your name and all links to images, videos, text, or the unexpected to:
EXTRA POINTS AWARDED TO SUBMISSIONS THAT ARE LIVE ON THE WEB (flickr / YouTube / twitter / wherever) + EXTRA EXTRA POINTS FOR COMMENTS, RETWEETS, VIEWS, LIKES, AND FAVORITES.
PLEASE SEE TERMS & CONDITIONS
Judging & Recognition
The deadline for submissions is April 24th at 11:59pm Pacific. The esteemed panel of judges will choose their favorites by May 2nd and the winning submissions will be announced on the Monday following Mother's Day, May 9th.
Our previous challenge winners for the Sanitation is Sexy campaign received hundreds of thousands of impressions, and the winning videos have been viewed a total of 1.5 million times! If we can make sanitation sexy, making moms sexy should be a cinch.
Resources to help you crush it
Inform your creativity:
In 2005, the UN placed maternal health among its Millennium Development Goals, pledging to “reduce by ¾ the number of women dying in childbirth” and “achieve universal access to reproductive health.” But pledging is one thing; delivering (in this case, literally) another. Around the world, 350,000 women continue to die each year of complications due to childbirth. That's more than a 1000 every day.
Ninety-nine percent of those deaths occur in developing countries. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a woman’s risks of dying of preventable or treatable complications of pregnancy and childbirth is 1 in 31, compared to only 1 in 4300 in the developed world. Look around your classroom; your office; the crowd of people awaiting the next subway care, and suddenly 1 in 31 becomes a lot more troubling.
But people die everyday of diseases they shouldn’t; why should this be any different? Because bringing life into the world shouldn’t so often be marked by death and disease. Because childbirth is one thing that touches us all: whether we go through it ourselves, watch in awe as those we love experience it, or are merely the product of it. Because something so fundamental to what it means to be human shouldn’t be this hard.
Because moms matter: children who lose their mothers are five times more likely to die in infancy than those who do not, and those who survive are less likely to go to school and to grow up to be healthy, functioning adults.
All the news that's unfit to print:
- Kaiser Family Foundation fact sheet on maternal health.
- WHO information on maternal health and child health.
- WHO data on the causes of maternal deaths.
- WHO's World Health Report 2005 on maternal health.
- WHO's World Health Statistics 2009.
- USAID information on maternal and child health.
- Country-by-country numbers on low-birth weight babies.
Wait a second, this challenge isn't about HIV/AIDS or the importance of practicing safe sex, so how did the latex condom inspire this challenge? What we don't often think about is what happens when pregnancies -- planned or unplanned -- are carried to term? What are the risks of childbirth without access to quality maternal healthcare?Lest you think it’s all bad news, there are thousands of people working tirelessly to improve the lives of mothers and newborns, whose quiet heroism is precisely why we’re launching this challenge. There’s LifeSpring Hospitals (an Acumen Fund investee), which have treated more than 70,000 patients in South India by running small-scale maternity hospitals that specialize in services required by most customers: normal deliveries, caesarian sections and hysterectomies. There’s Kathryn Hall-Trujillo, whose Birthing Project USA has overseen the births of more than 10,000 babies in the US and around the world, pairing young pregnant women with mentors who become their friend, elder sister, and advocate. And thanks to founder Jane Chen and Embrace, premature infants in resource-poor areas have a shot at a healthy start thanks to an innovative infant warmer that costs 1% of the price of a typical incubator. Those efforts -- and the agents behind them -- deserve to be celebrated, championed, and spread to every far-flung corner of the world.
ABC News segments on LifeSpring & Embrace:
- Interview with Jacqueline Novogratz on LifeSpring Hospitals (Acumen Fund's CEO)
- Video of Bethlahem, working on the frontlines at LifeSpring Hospitals
- Interview with Jane Chen (Embrace's CEO)
- Donner la vie... End Maternal Mortality in Burkina Faso (PSA from Amnesty International & Save the Children)
- Eight Lives: Stories of Reproductive Health (United Nations Population Fund)
- TEDxChange@Kibera: Dorah Nyanja (Gates Foundation video)
- Need more inspiration? Check out winners from our previous “Sanitation is Sexy” challenge.
Watch these and raise them one: