Creating a supportive Environment

Introduction

© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-2706/Noorani

How do we create a supportive environment for maternal and newborn health? More than simply providing improved health services for mothers and children, a supportive environment requires us to challenge the social, economic and cultural barriers that perpetuate gender inequality and discrimination.

It is essential to educate women and girls; reduce poverty; protect them from abuse, exploitation, discrimination and violence; foster their participation and involvement in decision-making processes in the home and in economic and political life; and empower them to demand their rights and essential services for themselves and their children. Furthermore, having more involvement of men in maternal and newborn health care and in addressing gender discrimination and inequalities is also important in establishing a supportive environment.

Next page >>