The new mothers have found the life-changing experience of motherhood has caused them to reflect on the incredible challenges faced by mothers in poor communities. They joined CARE International’s Walk in Her Shoes challenge, supported by the Co-operative membership. The challenge will see them walk 10,000 steps a day for a week with their babies, in solidarity with women who run a family home under the pressures of extreme poverty.
Rachel Wright, Natalie Archer, Sophie Griffin, Rebecca Taylor, Sally Dalrymple-Smith, Sophie Blond will raise funds to support mothers around the world, many of whom face the dangers of childbirth unassisted, the high risk of infant mortality and who cannot send their daughters to school.
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty – over 70 per cent of the world’s poorest billion people are female. In industrialised countries, the chances of a woman dying in pregnancy or childbirth are 1 in 8,000. Across the developing world, it’s one in 76.
Tasks such as collecting water and firewood are carried out almost solely by women and girls in poor communities. Across Africa and Asia, women carry an average of 20kg at a time over long distances- that’s the equivalent of the UK’s average luggage allowance. Not only is this exhausting, often back breaking work, but crucially it leaves little time for women to secure paid work or girls to attend school, trapping them in a cycle of poverty. Lack of education for girls contributes to early marriage, higher birth rates, and lower income. In some countries a girl is more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than finish primary education.
Rachel Wright, mother of baby Delilah, explained: “We have all found that whilst becoming a mum is an incredible experience it is also really hard work, despite having all the luxuries of washing machines, heating, hot water, fridges and freezers…. Being reminded that many women across the world have to cope without even basic essentials like running water is particularly saddening for us now. We take so much of the conveniences in our lives for granted and now, going through the early stages of motherhood ourselves, we have a much greater respect for these women and how they cope under much harder circumstances.”
CARE International’s Head of Challenge, Neil Munro, said: “Mother’s Day is an apt time to think about women in the developing world, and how poverty is keeping them and their daughters from fulfilling their potential. Tasks which take seconds in the UK can mean hours of work in poor communities and much of this responsibility is borne by mothers and daughters. We’re grateful to Dorking NCT group for their support- the funds they raise could provide a clean water supply to a poor community, saving mothers and daughters a gruelling daily walk.”
The mums join hundreds of CARE supporters from the UK, Canada and Australia who will all be walking for CARE this March.
Notes to Editor
About CARE International
CARE is one of the world’s leading aid agencies, fighting poverty and injustice in 87 countries around the world and helping some of the world’s poorest people find routes out of poverty. CARE’s mission is to create lasting change in poor communities and put money where it is needed most: 94 pence in every pound goes towards our poverty fighting programmes. That’s one of the highest rates among all the UK aid agencies. Taking part in sponsored events like this charity walk is just one of the ways that CARE raises these vital funds.
About the Co-operative
The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by almost six million consumers. The Co-operative is doing more than ever to help tackle global poverty. Through co-operative support, ethical trade, ethical finance and campaigning, their work has benefited millions of people across the developing world. To learn more about becoming a member and helping to ensure lasting change, please visit www.co-operative.coop/membership