MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org.

MADRE's mission is to advance women's human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and building lasting solutions to the crises women face. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives. MADRE's vision is enacted with an understanding of the inter-relationships between the various issues we address and by a commitment to working in partnership with women at the local, regional and international levels who share our go...
Nov 7, 2012

Giti's Story

Giti’s midwife learned that Giti’s husband by an arranged marriage had raped her several times a day, demanding that she produce a son. When Giti became pregnant, her husband threatened to kill her and the baby if a daughter was born.

Before delivery, the midwife alerted MADRE to activate the Afghan Women’s Survival Fund. With our support, the underground escape network sprang into action. Moments after the girl was born, a male activist waiting nearby in a car whisked Giti away to a nearby safe house. This heroic driver risked his life by posing as Giti’s male relative (it’s required by custom that a woman only be in a car with a male who is a relative) as well as by aiding in her escape.

MADRE members were right there with them as they made their way to freedom. Your gifts provided fuel for the car, medical help, clothing, diapers and necessities for the baby, cell phones, funds for safe emergency housing and so many other costs needed to coordinate covert escape.

MADRE also helped Giti’s baby come into the world safely through our support of “safe birth” medical kits containing basic supplies that our midwife partners urgently need. Afghan maternal mortality rates are the second highest in the world!

The good news is that Giti and her baby girl are now living in a safe place in the capital city of Kabul. Our partners will see that she and her baby have the means to start a new life. We want all our stories to end this well.

Oct 15, 2012

Summer Meeting of the Midwives for Peace

We’re our proud of our ongoing partnership with Midwives for Peace, an incredible project coordinated by Israeli and Palestinian midwives. Midwives for Peace is dedicated to ensuring a safe and beautiful birthing experience for Palestinian women despite the violence that surrounds them. We recently received an update on the project from Gomer Ben Moshe, our partner and an Israeli midwife:

After postponing the meeting twice, we finally got together sweating and happy, missing on some of our friends but ready to participate a neonatal resuscitation course with Lina Hury, a pediatric nurse who joined us for this purpose.
Lina gave the theoretical background for neonatal resuscitation and the new guidelines, and then we practiced with equipment and dolls which Lina brought along with her.

We all felt it was important and very useful to do this course in group of mainly midwives and nurses. We all thanked Lina very much for volunteering with us!

At the end of the meeting we gave our Palestinian sister Amina a fetal monitor which we purchased for Hala for the birthing center in Mitaloon. Amina will give it to Hala ASAP.

The next meeting will take place in October.

Oct 15, 2012

Despite Barriers, Palestinian and Israeli Midwives Join to Defend Women's Health

When MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind traveled to Palestine and met with our partner group Midwives for Peace, she conveyed your encouragement to this brave group of Palestinian and Israeli women who refuse to be enemies. Instead, this small, dedicated group is determined to work together to ensure that every woman has a safe, healthy and joyful experience of childbirth.

Yifat made a commitment from MADRE to support the efforts of the Midwives for Peace to bring together midwives and other women’s health advocates from both sides of the Israel-Palestine divide.

These gatherings offer the crucial opportunity for the midwives to share their expertise and to expand access to health care for women living under Israeli military occupation. Yet, the women who participate must overcome obstacles, including the military checkpoints and unpredictable road closures that prevent Palestinians and Israelis from gathering peacefully.

Thanks to your support of MADRE, the Midwives for Peace were successful in holding a midwifery exchange on June 13!  MADRE helped cover expenses for more than two dozen Palestinian and Israeli midwives – some traveling up to five hours – to meet in Beit Jala, a small town near Bethlehem in the West Bank. There, they discussed ways to improve the quality of care for pregnant women and infants. Their discussion highlighted the importance of mother-newborn bonding, breastfeeding and shared care of infants among family members. While the midwives shared technical tips and advice from their experiences, they also discussed potential cultural barriers that they might encounter during their work.

The meeting ended in good spirits, with members holding hands and reflecting on their mutual goal of safeguarding the right of every woman to a safe birth and of peace. With your ongoing support, the Midwives for Peace will meet again in September.

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