20/20 Features MEXFAM's Work to Reduce Maternal Mortality

Yes, several times in the report, the reporter emphasized emphatically in his voice that the man decides. Later, Julio Frenk states that the key is to educate girls. An effective solution? Yes, but only part of Frenk's goal to enable them to make healthy decisions and achive a fulfilling life.

Let's assume -for a moment- that the men do indeed decide the number of children to have, yet there is no education to the prevailing machismo (that is, to men). Then what? Then many young women can expect ignorance and/or resistance from their partner and in some circumstances, domestic violence.

The doctor filmed in the clinic takes advantage of a teachable moment and communicates to the man, because those moments are extraordinarily unusual not just due to machismo or social bias. And later, "when the couple is there, then the husband is always who makes the decision". In that moment, perhaps; sadly, unless men are part of an ongoing, sustained education - about masculinity, sex, sexuality, sexual healht and family planning - then the cycle that permeates 

Mexfam does an admirable job. Many other NGOs are on a noble path toward improved maternal health as well as reproductive health. Our NGO hasn't been able to open hearts and minds, nor to attract funding, to include men in a dialogue and actions that would advance this important issue - and reduce maternal mortality.

John Rozzo, Director - Milk México, AC


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