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[Comment] Valuing the health and contribution of women is central to global development

During my mother’s four pregnancies, her health was viewed as a way to improve the wellbeing of her children. Between the time that my mother had her children and I had mine, more attention was paid to the health of women themselves—and particularly their survival. This concern with maternal health and survival, especially for women in low-income countries, led to the launch of the Safe Motherhood Initiative in 1987, the first global effort to focus the world’s attention on maternal health. Since then, women’s health has expanded to encompass sexual and reproductive health and, more recently, the complex interplay of factors throughout the life course, which are explored in the Lancet Commission on Women and Health.

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