“What comes with raising awareness is a responsibility to do something about what you are aware of.”

So here is what I’ve become aware of recently:
5 million women give birth in 1 year in Europe, 500 000 don’t have access to care and 5 women die every day.Now I know.

And thanks to the wonderful team [link to the bottom of the page] I am part of and the support of other great advocates [link to participants webpage] on the topic of maternal health we engaged with, we started to learn and explore what we can do about it. So..:

My mission now is to hear from 5000 women in the course of 2 months. Will you #Giveme5 ?

I didn’t have much faith in the impact of awareness campaigns until I came across this topic and met parents who experienced real tragedies at birth, due to lack of information. I am not a mother, but I do plan to become one one day. In the meantime, I am privileged to witness my friends becoming parents..

Much to my surprise, I hear stories from the 60s, when my grandma gave birth, being similar to what some of my friends are telling me now. (those who actually want to talk about the issues they are facing). How could that be?

Growing up in Eastern Europe, I am used to seeing women becoming strong mothers, ready to ‘man up’, not talking about the issues they are facing, but rather ‘dealing with them’ in a silent, martyr like manner. And after spending half a decade in Western Europe society too, I can say the ‘Victorian approach’ to pregnant women is still deeply embedded in people’s lives here too.

So in a world of information and data, I just want to be able to find out from other women what we need to change. I want to learn and expose those stories that we don’t want to talk about. No more ‘what happens in hospital stays in the hospital.’’

The more people I meet in this process, the better. The quantity will help put a spotlight on something that we kept hidden for a long time.

And maybe from these questions, we find there is something we can do about these issues.

What I like about this Survey is that it puts the human aspect first. It looks at the many roles a woman has, rather than at numbers. I do believe numbers can illuminate, but they can also obscure. Women and their personal life stories cannot be reduced to numbers and should not get lost in the averages and statistics.

So tell me what it was like for you and together we can tell/prevent/protect other people.

We want to be able to remove what doesn’t work and replicate the things that work, so that more women are able to make healthy choices for their babies and families.

So now you know too.

Will you #Giveme5 ?

Diana Zaharia
Safe Motherhood Week Team Member & potentially 1 of those 5 million women in Europe in the future