New data from the UN, WHO & World Bank shows that the first two decades of the 21st century have seen the largest decline in maternal deaths in human history. Between 2000 and 2020, the annual number of women dying while pregnant or within 42 days of giving birth fell from 447,000 to 287,000, and the lifetime risk of a 15-year-old girl dying from maternal causes almost halved.

UNICEF on how the lives of girls around the world have improved in the last decade. More girls are completing high school, fewer are having children, more have access to family planning, fewer child marriages take place, female genital mutilation has decreased and the proportion of girls being infected by HIV has fallen. It’s not enough – but it shows that progress is possible.

Around 90 million women of working age have gained full legal equality in the last decade. It’s not even close to enough. Billions of women remain disenfranchised, and dismantling centuries of patriarchy is going to take generations. It is a start though. World Bank

New legislation banning child marriage has come into force in England and Wales, a major step forward for women’s rights. Girls younger than 18 can no longer get married or have a civil partnership even if their parents give consent. Previously, religious marriages were legally permitted to occur at any age. “We’ve campaigned for this change for a decade.” Independent


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash