Ambassador McKinley’s Op-Ed for Mother’s Day
As we celebrate Mother’s Day this month in many countries throughout the world, we honor the women in our lives and around the globe who are mothers and grandmothers, and those who serve in the role of mothers. Today and every day, we are grateful for the women whose strength and resilience keep our families and communities together.
Mother’s Day presents an opportunity to reflect on the health challenges mothers face – challenges that in too many countries make it difficult for women to preserve their own health, safely give birth to healthy babies, or ensure their child lives beyond their fifth birthday.
Childbirth takes the lives of thousands of women each year, robbing them and their child of what should be one of the most joyous moments in their lives. While the statistics are alarming, the U.S. government, in close partnership with the Government of Afghanistan, is working to secure a better future for mothers, mothers-to-be, and newborns in Afghanistan.
The progress Afghanistan has made in reducing maternal and child mortality is impressive. Over a decade, there has been a significant reduction in under-five, infant, and maternal deaths. We welcome Afghanistan’s concentrated and renewed efforts to end preventable child and maternal deaths. The United States and Afghanistan are working to equip health workers with the skills and supplies they need to help mothers safely deliver healthy babies.Basic health services are available across the country, and doctors and midwives are providing critical life-saving care to mothers and infant children. Since 2002, infant mortality has dropped by 53 percent and child mortality by 62 percent. Today, nearly half of all Afghan women deliver their babies under the care of a skilled doctor or midwife.
Empowering the mothers in our lives and supporting the rights of women directly impacts Afghanistan’s future. This is a time to reflect on progress, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by women who have made a difference in their families and communities. Global stability, peace, and prosperity depend on recognizing the important role mothers, grandmothers, and mother figures hold in society. This year, let us honor the mothers in our lives with a renewed commitment to their health, security, and prosperity.
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