March 2009 - Issue 420

50-year-old Mabinty Conteh and her 18-month-old granddaughter Isatu are from Sierra Leone. Mabinty is holding up a photo of her daughter, who died giving birth to Isatu at the age of 20. Women in Sierra Leone have a 1 in 8 lifetime chance of dying in childbirth. The risk for women in Ireland, meanwhile, is 1 in 47,600.

The gulf between the Global North and the Global South is greater on this than on any other indicator – and progress towards this Millennium Development Goal is all but non-existent. Yet, as this month’s issue of the NI explains, everybody knows how these women’s lives could be saved. So why the hell is nobody doing anything about it?

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