I often think of White Ribbon Alliance’s first Mother’s Night in 2011. It was a great achievement–we gathered policymakers, as well as partners in maternal and newborn health, including UCID, UN agencies and other national and international partners and pregnant women all in the same room.
These pregnant women raised their problems and issues in that room because safe motherhood is not just through health services, it is a multisectoral effort to make motherhood safe. Municipal planning, the Minister of Economy, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, all of them are necessary to improve maternal health. All these safe motherhood issues were presented directly to the policymakers that night – and it has happened every year since.
White Ribbon Alliance’s global movement is so strong because it is able to not only connect with high-level political officials, but by uniting communities to support women and their newborns. White Ribbon Alliance Afghanistan has been able to translate WRA’s safe motherhood materials into Farsi and Pashto and distribute these lifesaving resources to the most remote areas of this country, so that women throughout Afghanistan can learn about their right to quality, respectful maternity care and demand change.
And, because of White Ribbon Alliance Afghanistan efforts bringing mothers and communities together with policymakers to discuss women’s health, Afghanistan now has a National Day for Safe Motherhood.