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Understanding women’s empowerment and maternal mortality in the Ugandan context: effects of mitigative intervention strategies

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In an international context of increasing attention to maternal health and unacceptable rates of maternal death, disease and disability in many regions of the world, more resources will become available to address the issue. In the case of maternal mortality in Uganda,framing of the issue has implications for the effectiveness of attempted interventions. While women’s subordinate status in Ugandan society has been recognized as an important contributing factor in high maternal death rates, it is largely considered to be an intractable artefact of social and cultural beliefs and practices. Interventions informed by this framework can at best hope to mitigate the effects of an unfortunate reality. The root issue of women’s lack of empowerment is therefore not often addressed within large scale maternal health interventions, contributing to a continued need for mitigation, and potentially increasing women’s social disempowerment to reinforce the cycle of poor maternal health.
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