Education of Girls leads to improvement in all the other UN Millennium Development Goals.

Maternal Health, Environmental Sustainability and Global Partnerships


5maternalhealthGoal Five: Improve Maternal Health

Target 5.A: Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio

Target 5.B: Achieve universal access to reproductive health.

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  • Globally, maternal mortality declined by 47 per cent over the last two decades.
  • Maternal mortality has declined by about two-thirds in Eastern Asia, Northern Africa and Southern Asia.
  • Only half of pregnant women in developing regions receive the recommended minimum of four antenatal care visits.
  • Complications during pregnancy or childbirth are one of the leading causes of death or adolescent girls.
  • Some 140 million women worldwide who are married or in union say they would like to delay or avoid pregnancy, but do not have access to voluntary family planning.
  • Most maternal deaths in developing countries are preventable through adequate nutrition, proper health care, including access to family planning, the presence of a skilled birth attendant during delivery and emergency obstetric care.       


BUT Women’s empowerment is a prerequisite to forward progress on this stalled goal.

 Practices that bring danger to mother and child such as child marriage, female genital cutting, dietary restrictions, and all other forms of violence and discrimination against women must end if maternal mortality is to be reduced.

Girls who marry young have fewer opportunities to go to school, less say in household decision-making, and are more likely to experience domestic violence. They are exposed to the risks of early pregnancy and childbirth, the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19 in developing countries.

Women die for lack of family planning, inability to negotiate the number and spacing of their children, lack of money to pay for transport to and for skilled birth attendance or emergency obstetric care, and from violence.

One in three maternal deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth could be avoided if women who wanted effective contraception had access to it.

In societies where men traditionally control household finances, women’s health expenses are often not a priority.

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Goal Six: Combat HIV, Malaria and Other Diseases

Target 6.A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

Target 6.B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it

Target 6.C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

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  • Worldwide, the number of people newly infected with HIV continues to fall, dropping 33 per cent from 2001 to 2011.
  • In 2012, 290,000 fewer children under age 15 were infected with HIV than in 2001.
  • A record 9.7 million people were receiving antiretroviral therapy for HIV in 2012.
  • In the decade since 2000, 1.1 million deaths from malaria were averted.
  • Treatment for tuberculosis has saved some 20 million lives between 1995 and 2011.


HIV remains the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age worldwide.

Every minute, a young woman is infected with HIV.

Young women are more vulnerable to HIV infection due to a complex interplay of physiological factors and gender inequality.

Because of their low economic and social status in many countries, women and girls are often at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating safer sex and accessing HIV prevention information and services.

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Next» UN MDGs 7 & 8

Education of the Girl Child

History of Girls’ Education in Kenya

Gender Issues and Education in Kenya

Female Genital Mutilation and Education in Kenya

Education and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 2015

UN MDGs 2 & 3

UN MDGs 1 & 4

UN MDGs 5 & 6

UN MDGs 7 & 8

*Icons and Fact Sheets courtesy of the United Nations Millennium Goals


Website: J Golden

Research Asst: H Sadkowski

& P Haastrup

Site Design: W Cudlip

Photos: J Golden, Ryerson University

& N Cole 


Professor Jean Golden Ryerson University


Site Designer: Walt Cudlip



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