Women Who Dare: Christy Turlington Burns Takes On Maternal Mortality

Christy Turlington

This post is part of Pathfinder's "Women Who Dare" series in celebration of International Women's Day 2013. Because remarkable women around the world continue to "dare" each and every day, Pathfinder will continue to feature "Women Who Dare" beyond just International Women's Day.

Christy Turlington Burns is the founder of Every Mother Counts, a campaign dedicating to ending the hundreds of thousands of preventable deaths linked to pregnancy and childbirth that happen every year around the world. Prior to her work with Every Mother Counts, Christy directed and produced "No Woman, No Cry," a documentary about the state of maternal health for mothers worldwide. As a part of "No Woman, No Cry," Christy dared to share her personal experience with postpartum hemorrhage, a condition that claims the lives of nearly 350,000 mothers every year.

Recently, Pathfinder spoke with Christy to learn more about the progress she's seen on the sexual and reproductive health front and her advice for changing the world.

You were very candid about your personal experience with postpartum hemorrhage in your film, "No Woman, No Cry." Did you ever imagine then that you would now be such an incredible advocate for maternal health?
I knew the moment I became a mother that my life would be profoundly changed, but I was surprised by the experience I had postpartum after everything else had gone so smoothly. Even with the complication, the experience was incredibly positive and liberating on so many levels. Then, when I discovered that pregnancy often leads to death for so many women and girls around the world, I needed to know more and do all I could to help raise more awareness. The film was basically a long research project that further proved that so much more could and should be done to save these lives. Once the film was complete, I knew that I still had a role to play and now, with Every Mother Counts, I am continuing to advocate with a mission to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all moms.

You’ve committed tremendous time and resources to raising awareness for improving women’s health. Do you ever consider that work daring?
There is a certain amount of daring that comes with sharing intimate details of your life and putting yourself out there over and over with audiences of complete strangers, but I feel that it’s healthy to share vulnerable aspects of our lives and if doing so inspires more mothers to share their stories with others and for others, I believe together we can make a difference.

In your work thus far, have you encountered any resistance or negative feedback?
Not that I am aware of. I think my passion and commitment is pretty transparent. But there is a certain amount of scrutiny because people who are known by the public know you for your other associations. I have been very open about what I know and don’t know and it seems clear to most people that I take this issue very seriously and am committed to doing everything I can to keep it in the hearts and minds of anyone I come into contact with.

What changes have you seen in the last few years for women’s sexual and reproductive health?
When I set out to make  “No Woman, No Cry,” over a half a million women were dying from complications in pregnancy and childbirth every year. Today, the numbers are closer to 300,000. This number is still way too high, but the fact is the world now is more aware of the problem and we are counting girls and women and registering births in more countries than we were doing previously. And the world is changing and our population is continuing to grow and we still aren’t reaching millions of people who wish to access family planning to help them control their family size so that they can care for them. Women’s reproductive health continues to be politicized, even in (the US) where women remain perilously close to losing the rights and freedoms we currently enjoy.

What inspires you to continue this work? Are there particular other daring women who motivate you?
I keep good company these days and frequently meet women who are so extraordinary that they inspire me daily. Even the most ordinary women in some places in the world are extraordinary to me given all they endure and yet continue to persevere. But women are daring in so many ways. Each and every one of us.

If you had one piece of advice for someone interested in changing the world, what would it be?
If you truly want to change the world, set an intention and the “what” and the “how” will present themselves. When you’re dedicated to making a change, and you believe deeply in what it is that you care about, you will make it happen.

This post is part of Pathfinder's "Women Who Dare" series in celebration of International Women's Day 2013. Read more stories of daring women and learn how you can take action at www.pathfinder.org/WomenDare.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

Leema Technologies Ltd offers a wide range of services within the construction industry to assist developers, Builders & architects alike. Such services include: Air Tightness Testing, Sound Insulation Testing, SAP Calculations, SBEM Calculations and Energy Performance Certificates. air tightness testing
sadas November 24, 2014
Thank you for posting such a great article!Keep up the good work! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. property valuations perth
Name November 24, 2014
our lives and if doing so inspires more mothers to share their stories with others and for others, I believe together we can make a difference. Health Food Post
Name November 24, 2014
Van Hire London has been well served by Reward Van Hire for the last 15 years. Trading out of Kentish Town, North London, Reward Van Hire provides top quality self-drive van hire, truck hire and minibus hire to individuals and trade customers alike. van hire
sadas November 23, 2014
Then, when I discovered that pregnancy often leads to death for so many women and girls around the world, I needed to know more and do all I could to help raise more awareness. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/rhodiola-rosea-usa-made-perfect-123000822.html
Name November 23, 2014
Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work! Bulk SMS Nagpur
Name November 23, 2014
Active Renewable is a Canadian natural gas marketer committed to providing competitive natural gas pricing to the British Columbia market. As part of our commitment, Active Renewable offers fixed natural gas pricing for the term of the agreement Read about Active Energy
Name November 23, 2014
We see so much of the negative side of life in the media that it is refreshing to have a positive, upbeat report on the good things that are happening.Please accept our thanks and congratulations on the success of your recent series on young scholars in our community. Bellewaters by Qingjian Realty
sadas November 22, 2014
TicketsatWork provides companies with a unique opportunity to establish a savings benefits program by connecting employees to the world’s greatest entertainment and travel discounts. ticketsatwork.com
Name November 22, 2014
I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post http://acnenomorereviewd.weebly.com/
Name November 22, 2014
Landmark's Toronto office offers a wide variety of events and seminars, including The Landmark Forum —an accelerated learning workshop that is the foundation of Landmark's programs. Read about Landmark
Name November 22, 2014
Landmark rebuts such claims. Not satisfied with simply transforming the lives of its students, it promises to deliver the secret of what it means to be human and guarantees them futures greater than they could imagine. Read about Landmark
Name November 22, 2014
Have read a couple of of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites blog website list and will probably be checking back soon. towing toronto
sadas November 22, 2014
​Luxusné bývanie - moderný interiér, luxusné kúpeľne, luxusné spálne, luxusný nábytok. luxusne kuchyne
sadas November 21, 2014
We all need the inspiration to get beyond the numbers. And it’s here in Kuala Lumpur. List of iPad Pillows
Yemurai November 21, 2014
Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something Spiderman 3 PC Game Full Version
alex November 20, 2014
Thank you. I recently had the good fortune of reading your article regarding investment strategies. loft conversions ealing
sadas November 20, 2014
%title% * Coach Outlet --Coach Factory Outlet Store Online supply High Quality Coach Purses,Coach Handbags,Coach Sunglasses at the lowest price,no tax. Coach Outlet * Very good,prompt delivery,great item Coach Outlet online * Coach Factory Outlet * Coach Factory Outlet online Very Fast delivery,Coach Outlet,Coach Outlet online,Coach Factory Outlet,Coach Factory Outlet online,Will defo use this seller.again A*****. Arrived very quickly. Happy with everything.
hqswwf@gmail.com November 19, 2014
Toko online kami menjual baju import dari korea dengan harga yang murah, silahkan kunjungi website kami di Baju Online Murah. Grosir pakaian dari Jakarta menjual beraneka jenis pakaian model terbaru klik infonya di sini. Toko Online kami menjual dompet dan tas dengan model terbaru dengan harga yang murah, baik itu tas branded maupun lokal, kualitas barangnya terjamin. Seperti tas punggung jansport, dengan banyak pilihan model dan warna, lihat di sini. Kami juga menjual aneka tas wanita branded dengan model yang elegan, cantik, dengan harga terjangkau, namun kualitas baik, silahkan lihat koleksi selengkapnya. Lihat juga koleksi dompet untuk anak dengan beraneka macam motif dan gambar yang lucu. Lihat -lihat juga toko tas online ini, yamg menjual tas dan dompet wanita dan pria model terbaru. Apabila wajah anda bermasalah, sering berjerawat, simak info perawatan wajah berjerawat, yang bisa anda praktekan sendiri di rumah. Baca juga info dan tips cara pengobatan jerawat secara alami yang dapat membantu anda dalam menghilangkan jerawat. Selain itu ada juga cara menangani bekas jerawat secara alami maupun medis, baca selengkapnya di sini. Sudah mendengar tentang Alat kecantikan nano Spray? Alat kecantikan kulit ini dapat mengatasi berbagai permasalahan kulit. Konon katanya alat ini memliki khasiatnya yang sama dengan treatment oksigen. Grosir baju muslim online menjual gamis dan tunik wanita. Kami juga menyediakan model jilbab terbaru seperti jilbab instan/ bergo dan pashmina yang syar'i namun tetap modis, silahkan lihat koleksinya dengan meng-klik link ini. Toko tas online di Jakarta menyediakan aneka tas keren dan modis. Tas punggung branded dengan model terbaru, silahkan klik link koleksi tas terbaru. Kami juga menjual tote bag aneka motif dan karakter yang lucu dan cantik dengan harga murah, terbuat dari bahan kanvas yang tebal, kualitasnya bagus. Silahkan lihat koleksi tote bag kami klik link ini. Cek juga dompet branded terbaru kami. Cara mengobati jerawat hingga tuntas yaitu dengan menangani jerawatnya terlebih dahulu sampai jerawat tak lagi nampak di wajah anda, silahkan simak caranya, setelah itu lakukan tindakan untuk bekas jerawatnya, dengan cara di blog ini. Alternatif perawatan kulit lainnya yaitu terapi wajah dengan oksigen. Cara ini sudah umum dilakukan, namun tentu saja biasanya tidak murah. Bagi anda yang tertarik metode perawatan ini, nano spray MCI dapat menjadi solusi. Cara kerja nano spray yang mengubah partikel air yang besar menjadi berukuran nano memudahkan oksigen meresap ke dalam pori-pori wajah, simak selengkapnya.
k November 19, 2014
Scroll to top