Model Christy Turlington Burns recently released the documentary film, No Woman No Cry. Inspired to learn more about women's health issues because of the complications associated with her own pregnancy, Christy and a film crew sought to cover some of the major issues affecting maternal and women's health around the globe.
In the film, Christy travels to three different countries to highlight some of the health issues facing women. In Tanzania, she concentrates on women's lack of access to health care. In Bangladesh, she shows that sometimes the problem isn't a lack of available care, but rather the stigma or other problems associated with the care that is available. In Guatemala, she focuses on the dangers associated with a lack of access to family planning solutions. Finally, in the U.S., Burns shows that even in developed countries, women are not given the care they need, often because of a lack of insurance. Such a problem indicates the true lack of concern toward women's health issues most often practiced by health care companies and law makers.
A particular strength of this film is that it highlights not only the various aspects of maternal health, but also that it recognizes the fact that these issues are not isolated to women in developing countries and rural areas within. Even in the United States, maternal health is not always given the coverage or priority that is needed.
Some of the maternal health statistics Burns shares in the film are staggering, but as she later shares in the final interview, she chose to make this film partially as a way to educate her friends on some of the things she has seen and the health challenges that women around the world face. In that regard, she is 100% correct. These are stories that need to be shared. Despite the tireless efforts of organizations such as Planned Parenthood, Every Mother Counts, and Half the Sky, maternal health issues and women's health issues are still largely ignored. The general public needs to become more aware of the challenges women face -- not only domestically, but globally.
As such, Christy Turlington Burns and the Opera Winfrey Network have posted the full length film to YouTube. (Hurry though! It is only streaming for a limited time!) Finally, to learn more about the issues discussed and what you can do to get more involved, visit Christy's foundation, Every Mother Counts.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of Entertainment Weekly