unanimous: Giving birth is excruciating—it’s the pain on which all other pains
are measured (“Well that can’t be as bad as giving birth”). No one really
argues with this.
then why are women getting fined for screaming while they’re in labor?
know this seems far-fetched, but according to a report released by Transparency
International about the state of global corruption, it’s true. In Zimbabwe, a
hospital has been identified as issuing a $5 penalty to women for “raising
false alarm.” In other words, making noise when they’re not dying, exactly—just
insult to injury, if women can’t pay the fine or other delivery fees, the
hospital detains them until it’s paid off—with interest, no less. And that could
be a very long time, since the cost of labor in Zimbabwe averages at about $50—which
may not seem like much but, there, that amounts to a third of a typical
family’s yearly income.
gets worse from there: Hospitals are so strapped for supplies that some women are
allegedly asked to bring tools and materials needed for delivery with them. And
even then it’s kind of a lost cause, since 10 women die during labor every
as grim a scenario as that, we’re honestly amazed that women there decide to have
children at all. On the bright side, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Prime Minster has asked for an investigation
and called for change. On behalf of the women of Zimbabwe, we hope that
change comes really soon.