The Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced $1.3 million in grants to five organizations working to reduce maternal mortality and improve the reproductive health and rights of young people in Mexico.
Awarded through the foundation's Global Security and Sustainability program, the grants will be used to support efforts to reduce the unusually high maternal mortality rates in the states of Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca, and to address reproductive health-related causes of maternal death and illness as well as support national sex education and reproductive health programs throughout the country. The grants include $660,000 to the Sociedad Mexicana Pro Derechos de la Mujer to continue the foundation's Fund for Leadership Development Program, which provides fellowships to young people and indigenous women working on projects related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, and $150,000 to Salud Integral para la Mujer in support of its efforts to improve government-sponsored reproductive and sexual health services for Mexican youth. Other grants were awarded to Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida ($270,000); Thais Consultoría en Desarrollo Social ($225,00); and Fundar, Centro de Análisis e Investigación ($195,000).
"An effective strategy for working toward sustainable levels of population is to find ways to encourage young people to postpone childbearing and to help bring about advances in women's health and rights that allow them to make good decisions about their reproduction," said MacArthur Foundation president Jonathan Fanton. "We believe that placing women's well-being at the center of population policy and emphasizing the rights of individuals to determine and plan family size is the best approach for addressing the challenges of population growth."