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Plight and Status of Girls and Women through the Ages: Current Situation and Need of Today [HISTORY SECTION]
Author(s) Name: Professor Jim Dornan
Address of Correspondence

Chair Fetal Medicine QUB
RCOG Int. Council Fellow
Resident of Belfast

In 1856, Sir William Jenner, of typhus and typhoid fame, although a man of great breadth and vision, had said at the time, “I have one daughter, and sooner than see her at the dissecting table, I would see her dead before me”.  With this type of thinking being prevalent amongst apparently educated thinking men of the nineteenth century,  the reader will understand as to why the women’s liberation movement of the twentieth century was needed, and unfortunately, is still required in much of the world.
Let me present the reader with a multiple choice question; What do the following have in common?

  1. Failing to be born because of your gender.
  2. Having the labia and clitoris removed by a sharp stone at the age of eight years old.
  3. Forced into marriage at first menstruation.
  4. Non-consensual sex from your first encounter.
  5. No access to contraception or termination ever.
  6. Forced to abort your girl fetus.
  7. To die in a field, guilt ridden and infected from unsafe home abortion.
  8. To be one of the 50% of women in the world with no antenatal care.
  9. To be one of the 95% of women in the world who deliver outside the birthing centres.
  10. To be a rural Afghan girl with a 1 in 8 chance of dying in pregnancy.
  11. To be shunned by all as a harlot if not delivered before sunset.
  12. Dying twelve hours after convulsing continuously during labour for the lack of exposure to Magnesium Sulphate, which is cheaper than table salt.
  13. Dying from uncontrollable bleeding just after giving birth to the beautiful baby you have always longed for.
  14. Dying after 72 hours of obstructed labour because of immature pelvic development associated with no sunlight and Vitamin D deficiency.
  15. Dying from overwhelming pelvic infection, which could have easily been halted in its track by the simple application of first generation antibiotics.
  16. Allowed to die in labour by your partner as it is cheaper to take a new wife than to pay for a caesarean section.
  17. Being constantly wet with urine leakage, and rejected as a consequence of obstructed labour.
  18. Suffer from constant physical abuse and to be considered to be of less value than a domestic animal.

Well sadly, in all parts of the world, the answer to the multiple choice question is that all the above only happen to women, and are silently happening to a lot of women, a lot of the time, right now.  A mixture of man and nature is a heady mix indeed for women to endure, especially if the women in question is uneducated. 


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