The Huffington Post

Sudan...Marriage Saved?

Sudan, the largest country in Africa, is a time-bomb set to go off next year.

2011 was the date specified under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (widely referred to as the CPA) signed five years ago by the warring North and South. On that date, the South can vote to secede from a confederation that everyone acknowledges is a marriage of convenience, at best.

Mothers Of Ethiopia Part IV: Inside A Rural Health Post

MAIANBESSA, Ethiopia — I get into a UN Land Cruiser with the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) staff coordinating my visit to Ethiopia and an official from the ministry of health to visit a rural health post. We leave the northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle, and its Obama Cafe and Obama Pool House, and drive about 25 kilometers along winding roads into the countryside. We pass donkeys with packages strapped to their backs and young boys using foot-long sticks to herd their families' cattle.

Mothers of Ethiopia Part III: Pregnancy Complications

MEKELLE, Ethiopia — Dima Yehea's two-year-old son has large brown eyes and a sweet, carefree smile. He sits on his mother's lap wearing only an old T-shirt. Dima, dressed in a loose hospital gown, looks at me with intent, studious eyes. Her baby turns towards her, grabs her left breast with both hands and nurses for a few minutes. As the baby focuses on his meal, Dima concentrates on me, a Westerner in Ethiopia.

Mothers Of Ethiopia Part II: Escaping Child Marriage

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The first time Tadu Gelana's mother suggested she get married, Tadu thought she was kidding. Only 14 years old, Tadu had not yet finished school or had her first menstruation cycle. Tadu laughed at the suggestion. The second time her mother mentioned it, Tadu told her she wasn't interested.

Her mother did not relent.

Tadu's brother, who was about twice her age and had taken care of her for many years, had recently passed away. Tadu felt she should be grieving for the loss of her big brother, not preparing for a joyous wedding ceremony.

Mothers Of Ethiopia Part I: Zemzem’s Journey

JIMMA, Ethiopia — When Zemzem Moustafa went into labor with her fifth child - at age 30 - she could sense a problem. Living in a thatched-roof hut in Ilebabo, a rural village in western Ethiopia, she and her husband walked to the local health post. A health extension worker there could tell that the baby was in the wrong position, but the worker could not help Zemzem and referred her to the hospital. And so Zemzem's journey began, one that ends in tragedy for thousands of women in Ethiopia each year.