1. Worldwide, how many women die as a result of complications from pregnancy or childbirth every year?
- Answer: D - more than 300,000. Women living in developing countries are 300 times more likely to die as a result of childbirth or pregnancy-related complications than women living in developed countries. On average, over 1300 women die each day—that’s nearly one woman per minute. For example, in Nigeria, 1 in 14 women who become pregnant will die from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth. Learn more: Five Sexual and Reproductive Health Services that Will Make Pregnancy Safer for All, available in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
2. In January of this year, Bolivia approved a new Constitution, which for the first time dedicates a chapter to women’s rights. What
percentage of Bolivians approved the Constitution?
- Answer: D - 61%. The new Constitution specifically entitles men and women to sexual and reproductive rights, and states that life is not defined as “starting at conception,” which would have outlawed abortion in the country. IWHC partner Catholics for the Right to Decide has been at the forefront of the advocacy efforts to revise the Constitution, and affirm and protect the health and rights of women and girls. For more information on what the new constitution will mean for girls and women in Bolivia, read a blog entry by Teresa Lanza, Executive Director of Catholics for the Right to Decide in Bolivia.
3. Worldwide, what percentage of new HIV infections in women result from sex with their husband or primary partner?
- Answer: D - 80%. In 50 of the least developed countries, 38% of young women currently aged 20-24 were married before they reached 18. In Rajasthan, India, 36% of girls are married by the time they are 15, and 80% are married by 18. A child bride is typically controlled by her husband and in-laws, knows little or nothing about sexuality, contraception, or HIV, and is expected to demonstrate her fecundity immediately. She is in no position to ask her husband about his sex life, let alone negotiate condom use. Premarital and extramarital sexual activity are widely condoned, or even encouraged, for adolescent boys and men as a demonstration of masculinity.
Pervasive gender inequalities mean that girls especially face numerous violations to their sexual and reproductive health and rights, including sexual initiation before they are physically or emotionally ready. The female genital tract is highly susceptible to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Violence and rape can further increase HIV risk by causing abrasions, bleeding, and tearing, especially among young girls whose genital tracts are not yet fully mature. Learn more: Women and Risk of HIV/AIDS Infection.
4. In what year did the United Nations sign an agreement committing to "gender equality and the empowerment of women"?
- Answer: C - 1979. At the Fourth World Conference for Women in Beijing in 1995, governments acknowledged women’s rights as human rights for the first time. This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the milestone Beijing Platform for Action, which reaffirms an extended global agreement on sexual and reproductive rights and health for women and young people. Advocates and governments measured progress on implementation of the platform for action at the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in New York every March.
5. Last year, Cameroun ratified the Maputo Protocol (click to download PDF), which calls on
countries to eliminate discrimination against women and girls, and
uphold their rights to dignity, life, education and training, and
health, including reproductive rights. How many other African countries
have ratified this life-saving document?
- Answer: C - 27. On May 28, 2009 Cameroun joined 27 other African countries in ratifying the Maputo Protocol, which was adopted by the African Union in 2003. IWHC will continue to support the advocacy efforts of our local partners, like FESADE, to ensure the full implementation and funding of the Protocol. To find out more, read a blog entry by our colleague Reine Rosine Agang, Why Cameroun Needs Maputo (in both French and English). Click here to find out more about our partner organization FESADE and their work to ensure the full implementation and funding of the Protocol.
6. True or False: Each year, 30 thousand women die from unsafe abortions.
- Answer: False. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that 70 thousand women die from unsafe abortions each year. Abortion is legal in almost all countries to save a woman's life. Too often, though, safe abortion services are not provided by public health systems, and women do not know of their legal right to seek abortion services. The services that are available are not widely accessible or are of poor quality, even in countries where abortion laws are liberal, such as India. Evidence from countries including the United States, Romania, and South Africa demonstrates that abortion-related deaths and injuries can be virtually eliminated with appropriate laws, policies, and services. Learn more: Access to Abortion is A Human Right, available in Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
7. How many women worldwide will experience some type of violence in their lifetimes?
- Answer: D - 1 in 3. In every country of the world, women across all classes and cultures experience sexual, physical, and emotional violence. Violence against women is a fundamental violation of women’s human rights. Violence aggravates women’s vulnerability to HIV infection, limits women’s access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services, and increases stigma and discrimination. Policies, programs, and laws that uphold women’s rights and work to end gender inequality are urgently needed at local, provincial and national levels to protect women and girls from all forms of violence, including sexual abuse or coerced sex and its consequences, such as HIV infection. Continuous advocacy, strategic investment, political will, and committed leadership are essential o addressing violence against women and HIV and AIDS. Learn more: Seven Things the World Can Do to End Violence Against Women.
8. True or False: The only approved female-initiated HIV prevention method is the female condom.
- Answer: True. The female condom has been available since the early 1990s. In the United States, the FDA approved a new and improved version of the female condom in March 2009. Cameroun is currently the only country in which there are two different versions of the female condom that are approved and on the market. Learn more: watch our video Female Condoms: Demand and Distribution and read a collection of blog posts about FCs.
9. Which country that begins sexuality education in preschool and
integrates it into all levels of school has the lowest teen birthrate
in the world?
- Answer: B - The Netherlands. The rate of teen pregnancy in the Netherlands is eight times lower than that in the U.S. In fact, the U.S. has the highest levels of teen pregnancy in the developed world. Recognizing the realities of young adolescent girls’ and boys’ lives—and particularly their need to know about their bodies and their sexual rights and responsibilities—is crucial for building the foundations of a safe passage through adolescence into adulthood. Learn more about comprehensive sexuality education and its advantages over the ABCs of "abstinence, be faithful, and use condoms" in this collaborative blog post: The Complete Alphabet: Moving Beyond “ABC” Towards Healthy and Safe Sexuality For All.
10. Emergency contraception is often referred to as the “morning
after” pill. For how many days after contraceptive failure is emergency
contraception effective against unwanted pregnancy?
- Answer: D - 120 hours (5 days). The “morning after” is a bit of a misnomer. In the United States, emergency contraception or EC is sold under the brand name Plan B and is available over-the-counter to people 17 years and older. EC is legally available in many places around the world, however access is often limited by health care practitioners and pharmacists who refuse it to people who request it, or because women are not aware that it is legally available to them as a form of back up birth control. Learn more about access to contraceptive technologies: Five Sexual and Reproductive Health Services that Will Make Pregnancy Safer for All.
11. True or False: Sex work and trafficking are the same thing.
- Answer: False. Like all forms of trafficking, sex trafficking is a coercive and often violent violation of human rights. Sex work is an exchange of sexual services for goods or money between consenting adults. The issues around consent and choice in the sex industry are very complex, and people work in the sex industry for a variety of reasons: to support their families, as a survival tactic, and because it is the best paid work available in their local economies. To learn more about the ways that sex workers are organizing to improve their access to health care and fighting for their rights, watch this video about sex workers in India, featuring IWHC partner SANGRAM, and read this feature on RH Reality Check, Neither Victims Nor Voiceless: Sex Workers Speaking for Themselves.
12. What percentage of the United States budget was allocated to global health in 2010?
- Answer: D – less than 1%. President Obama submitted a $3.6 trillion budget request to Congress for fiscal year 2010, about $8 billion of which goes toward global health programming and support. The proposed budget for fiscal year 2011, submitted in February, would increase federal spending on global health by about 9%. To learn more about actions the Administration and Congress can take on behalf of the health and rights of women and girls, visit our U.S. policy resource center. You can also find up-to-the-minute news from Washington on our Capital Critiques web feature.