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From Outrage to Courage
Women Taking Action for Health and Justice

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From Prologue: Darkness and Light
"Being born female is dangerous to your health. This reality may not be true for many readers, but for most women living in poorer countries around the globe, it is devastating.

The dangers start before birth. Sex-selective abortion is widespread, as parents decide for various reasons that they cannot bring another girl into the world. Hundreds of thousands of girls have “disappeared,” unbalancing sex ratios in countries like China, India, and Korea. Every person in poverty is at a disadvantage, but the gender differences are staggering. Ninety million girls worldwide, compared with twenty-five million boys, do not go to school. Some two million girls, most of them in Africa, are at risk of being genitally mutilated each year. HIV/AIDS is spreading fastest in one population:adolescent girls and young women. More than half a million women die each year from almost completely preventable childbirth-related injuries and illnesses. One fourth to one half of women worldwide suffer violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Three out of four fatalities of war are women and children. Most older women in poorer countries are illiterate and living with illness, challenges also faced by many men. But unlike their male counterparts, these women are more isolated (rarely remarrying after the death of a spouse) and often are saddled with arduous care-giving roles.

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Copyright© 2007 Anne Firth Murray -- All Rights Reserved.