Women are not receiving proper reproductive health services and education in the Amazon, resulting in high unintended pregnancy and mortality rates.

Adolescent pregnancy is a growing issue in the Amazon River Basin and how the health and reproductive services in the area are not strong enough to provide for every woman in need. Especially for pregnant women, these resources are important in order to increase the probability of both the mother and child surviving child birth. For those women who are not pregnant, it is still important to have these resources in place for preventive measures, like modern contraceptives, that will protect women from diseases and unintended pregnancy.

Due to the relocation of villages and homes, people are found living in stranded areas where basic resources cannot reach. One of the barriers for bringing women’s health services to the Ecuadorian Amazon is the fact that there are women living in areas that are difficult to access. In multiple studies, women show to speak in mostly Spanish. When trying to build and deliver the resources, it is important to consider the possible language barrier that could cause issue or misunderstanding between the people supplying the resources and the people receiving the resources.

The severity of the issue tends to be undermined because not a lot of people outside of Ecuador, as well as the women that reside in Ecuador, are educated properly about reproductive health and the consequences that follow when preventative measures are not implemented correctly.

The unintended pregnancy rate for Ecuador is 62.7%.

High unintended pregnancy rate doesn’t just happen on its own, there are foundational issues that create a chain reaction to cause this high statistic. One of the foundational issues is the illiteracy rate for women in Ecuador. Indigenous women have a 12.9% education rate, while rural Ecuador has 7.9%, and the women of the whole Amazon have 2.7%. The relationship between illiteracy and unintended pregnancy is a strong indicator of how there is a lack of education in both general curriculum and sex education.

If educational resources are not built and supplied in the Ecuadorian Amazon, then the world would be ignoring a gender equality issue. The Amazon River Basin is struggling to gain these resources and educate their people about the dangers of adolescent pregnancy, or even pregnancy in general, for those that have no access to the resources. The broader implications on this topic imply that women of the Amazon need to be educated. If a woman were to get pregnant at a young age, or any age for that matter, it should be a pregnancy they want and hopefully can support.


  1. Allison Dame

    It’s interesting to read about the issues regarding women’s access to services in the Amazon. I, too, learned about underlying issues women face in Jordan. While you more focused on women’s access to reproductive health services and the resulting of unwanted pregnancy’s, we focused our learning on the lack of women’s access to the economy. In Jordan, most woman are considered inferior than men and their place is “in the home.” Because of this, woman very rarely participate in the workforce or contribute to the economy there. As a result, similar to your learning as a cause and effect phenomena, some women craft at home and sell their goods out of the home. This gives the ripple effect because if goods are sold through the home, they are not taxed, and then these untaxed goods directly effect the economy of Jordan in a negative manner, as does the unwanted pregnancy’s in the Amazon. While these are two very different geographical locations as well as situations, they do hold similar concepts. I had never heard of this problem in the Amazon before now, however it’s easier to grasp, having also learned about similar situations in Jordan.

  2. Rebecca Estabrook

    Reading this abstract reminded me of what I did my project on which focuses on women in Northern Ireland not receiving equal rights, and how women’s activism contributed to Irish women’s role and ideology in society. I was not aware of how little services Amazon women were not receiving, which brings me to a point I talked about in my project. Women in Ireland around the 1970’s and 80’s were being treated very unfairly and were not given equal rights, this caused many petty acts of crime convinced to women were being sent to jail. When in jail they were treated very unfairly with like being held in their cells for 23 hours a day, no access to privacy or any services like feminine hygiene products, new clothes or products. Again, these women did not commit any serious crime and they were still being treated so unfairly. This lead into women’s activism in Ireland like the dirty protest, hunger strikes and the unequal jobs opportunities they faced like the Magdalene laundries, this lead to a more bias community. Both communities obviously both suffer from women’s inequality, which like the women in the Amazon lead to more serious problems like high mortality and pregnancy. Women in Ireland are still working for equality in the workforces today but overall more equality was established thanks to the women’s activism.

  3. Christine Kirkpatrick

    It seems we have similar core issues to our essays. I wrote about the Magdaline Laundries of Ireland – a series of work camps set up by the Catholic church that ran from the 18th century to 1996. These camps took about 30,000 women who had children out of wedlock, as well as others for smaller crimes, and forced them to work in brutal conditions for the rest of their lives. This would include physical, mental, and sexual abuse, unsanitary work conditions, humiliation, and overworking without adequate food or hydration.
    Both of our topics deal with women facing unwanted pregnancy, whether it be from rape, lack of education, the language barriers women face in Ecuador, etc. In both cases, women are punished for something they have little control over.
    The issue you covered in your topic seems to be a bit more out of control, while the issues the women of Ireland faced were much more systematic.


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