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Direct Relief celebrates International Women’s Day

GOLETA, Calif. – The celebration of International Women’s Day drew a packed crowd at Direct Relief in Goleta. 

"I think International Women’s Day is a particular moment to recognize how central normally women’s health is but women and children and the role of midwives in particular," said CEO Thomas Tighe of Direct Relief.

The humanitarian organization welcomed more than 150 community members to hear from internationally renowned midwife Neha Mankani from Pakistan.

“What is happening around the world with climate emergencies, disasters and how women and children who are the most vulnerable are effected by a daily what we as midwives and first responders see on the ground … to being able to highlight in front of this audience. Is just really exciting," said Mankani.

The audience watched a documentary following Mankani, as she seeks to help pregnant women during the devastating 2022 floods in Pakistan. 

Mankani also discussed climate change, maternal and newborn health, as well as the role of midwives.

"Thinking about listening more, and just hearing what it is that women want to put out into the world, liberation progress is just linked to the liberation of al the women globally," said Mankani.

"Maternal mortality is a huge issue issue globally. It’s actually a huge issue in the United States and I believe strongly that midwife free care is one of the answers to that problem," said founder and director Laurel Phillips of the Santa Barbara Birth Center.

In addition to the presentation, locals participated in packing women’s hygiene kits.

The kits will be distributed to women in need around the world.

Direct Relief hopes to continue its efforts protecting women through the critical periods of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
International Women’s Day
Santa Barbara

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Patricia Martellotti

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