LONDON, September 20. The death-rate among African women giving birth is so large that "it is not uncommon for women... when about to give birth, to bid their older children farewell" says the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), today. This is just one of a multitude of appalling stories and statistics in the UNFPA's annual State of the World Population Report, Lives Together, Worlds Apart, which this year focuses heavily on the poor treatment of women relative to, and by, men.

In developing countries, complications of pregnancy and childbirth take the life of about 1 out of every 48 women. The report estimates that some 500,000 maternal deaths occur each year in developing countries, where only 53% of all births are professionally attended. According to the report, in Tanzania mothers have a saying: "I am going to the sea to fetch a new baby, but the journey is long and...

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