Factbox: Women’s health

COPENHAGEN (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Over 5,000 delegates from 150 countries arrive in Copenhagen this week for Women Deliver – a major global conference on the health, rights and wellbeing of women and girls which runs from May 16-19. Here are some facts:

Maternal mortality: Every two minutes a woman dies from pregnancy related complications – a leading cause of death for teenage girls in developing countries. Ninety nine percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries.

Newborn mortality: Nearly 3 million newborns die every year. Motherless children are up to 10 times more likely to die within two years of their mother’s death. When women space their births by at least three years, newborns are twice as likely to survive their first year.

Child marriage: Every year 15 million girls marry before the age of 18 – one girl every two seconds. More than a third of the 700 million women worldwide who were married as children were wed before 15. Girls who give birth when they are under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than young women in their 20s.

Family planning: 225 million women in developing countries have an unmet need for family planning. This leads to 74 million unplanned pregnancies, 28 million unplanned births and 26 million abortions every year.

HIV/AIDS: Young women make up more than 60 percent of all young people living with HIV, or 72 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

Female genital mutilation: At least 200 million girls and women have undergone FGM in 30 countries across three continents. FGM causes a host of health problems including potentially fatal childbirth complications later in life.

Fistula: More than 2 million women are estimated to be living with fistula, one of the most serious childbirth injuries, and some 50,000 to 100,000 new cases develop annually. Obstetric fistula is a hole between the birth canal and bladder or rectum caused by prolonged, obstructed labor without treatment.

Violence: One in four women is physically abused during pregnancy. In some countries, nearly half of girls report their first sexual encounter was coerced.

Sources: UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, Girls Not Brides, Women Deliver

(Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers humanitarian news, women’s rights, trafficking, corruption and climate change. Visit news.trust.org to see more stories.)

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