Burkina Faso's First Lady calls on film industry to save women
2 March 2009 | OUAGADOUGOU - The First Lady of Burkina Faso has called on the artists and communicators of Africa to save the lives of some 1500 African women who die needlessly each day from causes linked to pregnancy or birth. H.E. Mrs Chantal Compaoré was speaking as guest of honour at the 21st Pan African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO) in Ouagadougou.
"We are waiting for your enormous contribution, " said H. E. Compaoré. "You CAN and SHOULD raise your camera, pens and voices to tell the distress and hideous reality of your sisters in cities and villages - who daily meet death - while trying to give life." The Burkina Faso First Lady pointed out that Africa accounts for nearly half of all maternal deaths worldwide, with one woman's death per minute taking place.
The panel session entitled "Universal access to Reproductive Health by 2015: Myth or Reality?", organized by International Planned Parenthood (IPPF) and the Association for the Wellbeing of the Family (ABBEF) of Burkina Faso, was an attempt to bring the issues of human development to a film festival, which celebrates art and life. Ms Compaoré said she aimed to sensitize the wider population on the realities faced by women in regards to health and to mobilize support for the prioritization of this issue by individuals and communities.
H.E. Compaoré pointed out that based on current trends, the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 to improve maternal health would not be met. She urged the African artists and communicators to increase their efforts and personal commitment to all of the international development goals, in particular, MDG 5 pertaining to maternal health.