PBS NewsHour marks International Women’s Health Day (March 8) with a two-part series from Guatemala focusing on two major struggles women face in that country. PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez examines a culture of violence against women now fueled by drug trafficking and the struggles to teach women about birth control.
The reports air Monday, March 7 and Tuesday, March 8, 2010 (check local listings).
Monday March 7
Ray Suarez reports on how Guatemalan communities are trying to combat record levels of violence against women as drug traffickers amplify the dangers. Hear from families who share their tragic stories about losing a daughter or loved one due to what Ray describes as a “culture of impunity.” Viewers are also taken inside educational sessions, run by organizations like The Population Council, that aim to empower young girls from Guatemala’s marginalized indigenous population.
Tuesday March 8
High infant and maternal mortality rates plague the country of Guatemala. Women start having children in their teens and often continue into their forties. Health experts speak to Ray Suarez about the cultural and logistical obstacles tied to the use of birth control as a means of family planning. Some of the most prominent impediments to using birth control are cultural. Both the Catholic and Protestant Evangelical Churches discourage the practice and birth control also goes against other deeply engrained customs and beliefs of the Guatemalan people.
PBS NEWSHOUR is seen five nights a week on more than 315 PBS stations across the country and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast.