women's group talks help save lives brochure

The participatory women’s group approach which Women and Children First promotes has been tested through seven studies in four countries in Africa and Asia and has been shown to be successful in improving maternal and newborn care practices in the community and reducing maternal and newborn mortality in rural areas.

An overarching assessment of these studies has assessed the impact of women’s groups in a range of different contexts. This meta-analysis (Prost, 2013) demonstrates that women’s groups can reduce maternal deaths by up to 49% (where at least 30% of pregnant women take part in the groups) and newborn deaths by a third.

The World Health Organisation has issued a global recommendation about the participatory women’s groups which states: “Implementation of community mobilization through facilitated participatory learning and action cycles with women’s groups to improve maternal and newborn health is recommended, particularly in rural settings with low access to services”.