Snapshot: Battle of the bulge

A group of pregnant women held a candlelit vigil outside Parliament last week to raise awareness of the plight of women in the developing world who die during childbirth. The women displayed their painted bellies to highlight the 529,000 women who die unnecessarily every year from pregnancy-related causes. The vigil was organised by Interact Worldwide and Marie Stopes International to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development. At that conference, which was held in Cairo in 1994, leaders of the developed world pledged to deliver sexual and reproductive health and rights for all by 2015. One of the key objectives was to reduce maternal deaths by two-thirds, yet 10 years later, maternal deaths are still almost as high. Ros Davies, chief executive of Interact Worldwide said: "The real tragedy is that so many of these deaths could be prevented if funds promised in 1994 were made available."

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