Safe Motherhood Week noted luminary Petra De Sutter is a gynaecologist, professor in reproductive medicine at Gent University (Belgium) and also a politician. She is member of the Belgian Senate and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where she is active in the committee of migration and in the committee of social affairs. She also is vice-chair of the European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development.
In honour of International Women’s Day this year, we asked her about the #onething she would change when it comes to maternal rights.
Baby steps lead to big changes! What is the #onething you think should happen this year in a bid to achieve universal access to maternal care for all women?
I believe we need to increase foreign aid instead of cutting it. The major hurdle in universal access to maternal care to overcome is poverty. Fight poverty and maternal mortality will go down. It is that simple.
What is the #onething you think has happened in the past year that makes you hopeful for women’s and maternal rights?
For me personally, the fact that so many European leaders reacted immediately after the “global gag rule” was reinstated by the Trump administration makes me hopeful.
What #onething would you say to someone who asks why we need to fight for maternal rights in 2017?
It is a matter of global justice. Fight for maternal rights and you will be fighting for human rights and a more just society, where women are not second rank citizens, being disposed of.