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Missing the Mark? Women and the Millennium Development Goals in Africa and Oceania

Edited by Naomi M. McPherson

Demeter Press, 2016

As the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 2015 end date approached, the anthropologists whose work is featured in this volume set out to explore how or if these goals were achieved in their field sites in Cameroon, Ghana, Malawi, Southern Ethiopia, Solomon Islands, Chuuk, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. These finely-detailed local level studies consider MDG3, to “promote gender equality and empower women” and MDG5, “to improve maternal health” with contextualized explorations and analyses of women’s lived experiences of cosmopolitan medicine. A recurring finding is that women’s wellness and maternal and reproductive health are negatively affected by limited agency, gender inequities, and inadequate access to social entitlements and state resources. We offer insights into the unintended consequences of MDG3 and MDG5 in up-close-and-personal ways in women’s lives. A collective result of this book is empirical evidence that the lofty goals actually ‘missed the mark’ in important ways.

 

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