B!RTH provokes debate around the vital issue of global maternal health inequality.

Each year, an estimated 303,000 women around the world die because of pregnancy-related causes. On average, this is almost 830 every day. In addition, 2.6 million babies are stillborn each year and a further 2.8 million babies die in their first month of life. 99% of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries, and most could be prevented or avoided through actions that are proven to be effective and affordable.

These figures reflect the inequality in the access to, availability and quality of healthcare for women during and after pregnancy around the world.

Global maternal and newborn health targets have expanded from a focus on preventing death, to the importance of health and well-being. There is need for renewed emphasis and action, to ensure that all women have the right to, and are able to obtain, the highest attainable standard of health and well-being including physical, mental and social aspects of health. The aim is to ensure that every woman in every setting has an equal chance to survive and thrive during and after pregnancy.

B!RTH aims to provoke debate within a range of contexts from policy makers to community groups.

B!RTH is a unique collaboration between science and theatre. Using a series of provocative plays and dynamic panel discussions, B!RTH aims to raise awareness, change policy and provoke debate around the vast inequality in maternal and newborn health across the world.

Each year, an estimated 303,000 women and over 5 million babies die because of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The vast majority of these deaths occur in low and middle income countries, and many are preventable.

B!RTH’s seven hard-hitting plays explore some of the issues behind these deaths. They are written by seven of the world’s most exciting female playwrights from Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Syria, UK and USA and cover themes such as lack of choices in pregnancy and birth, violence against women and abuse of reproductive health rights. All seven plays were written in conversation with experts and with real women living with the issues explored; in performing the plays, B!RTH aims to amplify the voices of these women so that they reach those in the position to make change. 

All of the B!RTH plays are free to download and available to use as a tool to raise awareness and encourage debate locally, nationally and internationally via the Plays page

The powerful messaging of the plays leads on to interactive debates which explore the problems and potential solutions to the issues raised. These feature a range of experts from healthcare, academia, theatre and politics and are led by B!RTH’s scientific partner: The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Get in touch if you would like to find out more, or to use the plays in any way.