"In India, for instance, studies show that girls under the age five are more likely than boys to die. Itâs not the diseases that are killing them."
By Liz Abbott Contributing Writer
Sheryl WuDunn is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, business executive and author. Her most recent book, âHalf The Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwideâ discusses womenâs health care in developing countries, among other issues. She co-authored the book with her husband, New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof. WuDunn was the featured speaker Tuesday night, Oct. 29, at the University of Rhode Islandâs Honors Colloquium.
PBN: What is one of the most significant health care problems women face in developing countries?
WUDUNN: In âHalf The Sky,â we have a section on maternal health care. Women are dying in childbirth.
PBN: Why is this happening?
WUDUNN: Thereâs no system to deliver health care in these countries. Itâs very complicated and there are many causes. It could be from poverty or lack of political will. Sometimes itâs cultural reasons. There is no tradition of pre-natal care. A lot of these women live in poor, rural areas and they donât have the money to take a cab to a clinic, let alone pay for the doctorâs visit. Every step of the way is an obstacle for them.
PBN: Do women in developing have more health problems, in general, than men?
WUDUNN: Absolutely. In India, for instance, studies show that girls under the age five are more likely than boys to die. Itâs not the diseases that are killing them. Itâs malnutrition. When thereâs scarcity, the food goes to the males.
PBN: What are some of the other health and safety problems affecting women in the developing world?
WUDUNN: Sex trafficking, for one, but itâs not just a problem âout there.â Itâs here, in the United States, too.
PBN: Why did you and your husband write âHalf The Skyâ?
WUDUNN: We kept seeing these problems as foreign correspondents. The idea was to spread the word and awareness.