Haitian and Chilean Women Endure Tents
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The world marked International Women's Day on Monday. And from the tent camps of quake-devastated Haiti and Chile, some females are putting brave faces on a tough future.
Sherline Bordeaux gave birth to her son at a field hospital near temporary camps in Port-au-Prince. Right after giving birth, she walked down the hill towards her leaking shelter with the baby.
Many births take place at improvised camp hospitals set up by non-governmental organizations.
Alison Thompson, Haitian nurse, said, "Since the earthquake we had about 50 or 60 babies. We just started doing little birth certificates for them recently. The women come up here with the placentas and the babies hanging out."
Even before the quake, Haiti had a high mortality rate for women during childbirth: 1 in 47. After the earthquake, the situation has become even worse.
There are few basic sanitary facilities and not enough food supplies.
An 8.8 earthquake and the resulting tsunami wreaked havoc on Chile's southern coast, as well as the lives of many women.
In many camps, women organize themselves and share in the work of looking after the children.
Yesna Labrin, Chilean mother, said, "Among all of us, we help each other to prepare the food, to care for the kids, and to guard the place when the children are sleeping."
Thoraya Obaid, executive director of UN Population Fund, said, "Once something like this happens, women don't think about themselves. They are looking out for their children, they are looking out for their families."
Obaid says in cases of emergency and disaster, women face a higher risk of being hurt, or even dying. The nature of motherhood makes them focus on the children before protecting themselves.
(CCTV March 10, 2010)