More women each year die of pregnancy-related deaths in India than almost anywhere else in the world. While the government is legally obligated to provide health, sanitation, and nutrition services, these services are not always provided.
For the millions of low-income people living in marginalized communities in urban areas or remote regions like Assam, maternal mortality and morbidity are disproportionately high due to discrimination and poor health infrastructure. We support the training and activation of community-based workers to mobilize marginalized women to demand their legal right to safe motherhood.
The gap between the services Indian women are entitled to
and what they actually receive from government-run facilities can be vast. Our support is helping our partners build a cadre of trained, grassroots health activists who understand the legal rights women are entitled to under the Indian constitution. These community advocates have the tools needed to hold the government accountable for health care rights violations, mistreatment, blocked access to services and more.
Women in India face devastating inequities in maternal health outcomes and health care access based on their ethnicity, where they live and their income. In Assam, the world’s largest tea growing region, many women pick tea leaves six days a week for low wages and rarely receive the health benefits guaranteed to them by law. The paralegals and activists we support are Indigenous Adivasi women from the communities they serve, facilitating the trust and understanding required to effectively identify, document and report violations and disparities at their root.
The exchange of knowledge and skills across countries is valuable in tackling complex issues like maternal health. We support our partners in facilitating partnerships and help create networks across organizational and geographic lines with those seeking to adapt their strategies to other settings with the goal of advocating for marginalized women’s health rights in other countries. We believe these exchanges are key to accelerating innovation and adapting proven solutions that can improve maternal health outcomes.
Nazdeek is a legal empowerment organization committed to bringing access to justice closer to marginalized communities in India. Nazdeek works at the community level to train local women in New Delhi and Assam to know their rights and to hold the government accountable, mobilizing when those rights are being violated.
We also use storytelling, filmmaking, and data and research to share challenges, opportunities and advocacy goals. Watch the latest in India from our Delivering Hope series below.