By Mahtab Bashir
The older one gets, the less people seem to want to celebrate birthdays. The fewer reminders we get about our age, the better we feel. Then we have Valentine's Day which has become so commercialised that one may deem it wiser to treat it like any other day and claim that every day is Valentine's Day solely for fear of not getting it right or not making a gesture that will suitably impress one's partner. However, there is one day of the year that everyone does enjoy, and that is Mother's Day.
There’s no other person in the world that has made a greater impact on which we are today than our mothers. Even if we don't have a close relationship with her as an adult, she was there during our formative years. She's the one who introduced us to our first tastes of food, cheered our efforts at crawling and walking, showed us how to use a crayon, and read us bedtime stories. She's also the one who changed our dirty diapers and introduced us to the world us a useful person.
Like others part of the world Mother’s Day is being observed in Pakistan. Children and their families across the country will express in their own unique ways the importance of mothers in their lives. Some will shower their mothers with flowers and gifts; others will lavish them with hugs as a token of affection.
At each stage of motherhood, a woman has different responsibilities and, consequently, different personal needs. The word mother and mother's day are simple, yet powerful little words that we hear all the time especially so around the time of mother's day when everyone seems to be scrambling for ideas to say thank you, you are surely loved and you are appreciated all over again.
Mother's Day for all will be welcomed with feelings of excitement while for others it may be a day of mixed feelings especially so if they have lost their beloved mothers.
You see mother's day or any other day can be made more personal when you put some careful thought into your gift idea. What else would that mother enjoy? What has she wanted to do for a long time? What has she not gotten to experience in her lifetime? How can you really show her she is appreciated?
Daily Times when asked to comment on significance of Mother’s Day, many of them said they feel that it’s time all Pakistani mothers stood up for peace in the country, as Howe did. For this, they suggested mothers to give their guidance to other mothers and acknowledge their role in ensuring peace in the country.
Aaminah Raza, a mother of two, on this occasion said, “We need to join our hands to promote the cause of motherhood to spread peace, whether it is in Balochistan or in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhaw or in Karachi, or any part of the country and world,” she said adding we, the mothers, need peace for our sons and daughters and for our families.
Others called upon government to acknowledge the role of mothers and take some time out to guide mothers as to how they would be efficient in restoring peace to the country.
According to Daily Times Report, despite signing several international commitments regarding the health and human rights of women and girls, Pakistan has an alarmingly high Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR), as one Pakistani woman loses life every 30 minutes due to reproductive health complications.
According to health experts, every year, more than one million children are left motherless and vulnerable because of maternal deaths. “Children who have lost their mothers are up to 10 times more likely to die prematurely than those who have not,” they pointed out.
Dr Farzana, a gynecologist said factors resulting in maternal deaths include women’s poor health before pregnancy, and inadequate, inaccessible or unaffordable healthcare and poor hygiene and care during childbirth. “Socio-economic and cultural realities such as literacy, poverty, women’s unequal access to recourses and their lack of decision making power in families and societies contribute to the challenges faced by women,” she said.
According to Ministry of Health report, 350 out of 100,000 women, and 76 out of 1000 infants die at the stage of birth.
A few fairly simple interventions could prevent most of the maternal deaths. As one source quoted, it requires a wide-scale training of community-based midwives and equipping them with basic supplies and medicines. In places without doctors, these midwives could provide clean, safe deliveries with low risk of maternal infections and initiate treatment where signs of such infection appear and stop postpartum haemorrhage.
This intervention alone can prevent about half of maternal deaths. Provision of contraceptives and sensitisation of the communities to encourage birth spacing and reducing the family size, with proper laws to prevent pregnancies in teenage marriages and consequent early pregnancies, would prevent another quarter of those deaths. Much of the rest of the massacre relating to pregnancy and childbirth comes from unsafe abortions.
Sadly, our ideological battles here in Pakistan over such issues as contraceptive use and legalising abortions, coupled with aloofness at the policy level, have slackened the pace of any significant progress vis-à-vis issues of women’s maternal health. The result is that just as you read along, an innocent mother is about to become one more mortality statistic on a report card.
It is then imperative that we as a nation get our act together and convert this Mother’s Day into an opportunity to reflect on the plight of those hapless mothers and their children who will never know the joys of this special day.
Even a gift that is accompanied with a carefully written letter or note with meaning can put a smile on a mother's face! Yes, I know this will not work for all moms but that's why in the article it says that YOU need to really know that person. So please just remember, it really is the thought that counts, especially when you did take some time out to put some thought into your mother's day gift.
Today, mothers of Pakistan are facing similar problems of violence, war and unrest and killing in their country, as they are worried about the lives of their beloved sons, daughters and families.
One last thing, Daily Times invites its readers to help every day become a Mother's Day. By the way moms, it is ok to drop hints about how you would like to spend your special day and with hope, your spouse, partner, or other loved one will graciously honor your small request. After all, mother's day on the calendar only comes once a year.
Happy Mother’s Day: let’s move beyond the rhetoric, embrace the reality and together work to make it better. Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful mothers out there!
History of Mother’s Day: Mother’s Day came into being due to the efforts made by Ms Julia Ward Howe and Ms Anna Jarvis. The Resolution for having a dedicated Mother’s Day was signed by US President Woodrow Wilson on May 8, 1914. Since then people across the world have been celebrating Mothers Day on second Sunday of May with joy and devotion.
The Day was initiated to observe peace, and not support consumerism. Julia Ward Howe first designated the Mother’s Day for Peace in the civil war-hit America that left countless mothers mourning for their sons and families.
Through Mothers Day, this acknowledgement for mothers’ role is celebrated to bring peace for people. “Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of mercy, charity and patience”, she along with other thousands of US mothers witnessed first-hand the terrible bloodshed during the Civil War in America and the Franco-Prussian War in Europe.
This event led mothers to play their role in helping end the strife. Howe hoped that the powerful maternal desire for security could shape world events, and she called on mothers of the world to unite against war.