Across the developing world, millions of women are condemned to live a shadowy, half-existence because of Obstetric Fistula - a debilitating medical condition borne out of poverty that has largely disappeared in the West. Our first three Birthrights films are based in and around the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, which treats around 1,300 women a year.
Birthrights: A series exploring maternal health and the power, politics and poverty that impacts it around the world.
Maternal health is about more than just mothers and babies. Across the globe the very business of delivering life into the world is determined by power, politics and, all too frequently, poverty.
There may be a lack of facilities or too much medical intervention; women may be struggling to deliver their babies healthily or trying to control families through the termination of unwanted pregnancies; and the challenges could be rural remoteness or an urban culture dominated by media messages. Whatever the specifics, maternal health and the way women give birth is a global issue that affects us all.
This series takes us on a journey around the world - to Ethiopia, Hungary, Vietnam, the US, Guatemala and elsewhere. We hear a wide range of stories from women in vastly different circumstances, exploring their roles as mothers, the challenges they face around birth and labour as well as some of the ways they are trying to improve maternal health in their communities.