Governance Can Kill: The Politics Of Maternal Bodies In Nigeria

Erinma Kalu, Yale University

At the request of the author, this thesis has been removed.


Maternal mortality in Nigeria is unacceptably high. The country's maternal mortality crisis occurs along regional and socioeconomic lines--the poorer northern Nigeria has a disproportionately higher maternal mortality ratio than the wealthier southern Nigeria. Most maternal deaths in Nigeria are preventable, but the country's government has not implemented rights-based laws and policies to provide services that can avert deaths. Contentious North-South geopolitics drive the governance's systemic corruption, non-transparency, and unaccountability. The author shows how Nigeria's maternal mortality crisis is not accidental or random, but political. North-South geopolitics drive Nigeria's governmental leaders to make specific choices regarding reproduction. Ultimately, these governance choices--unaccountability, underfinancing of maternal health services, and lack of gender-responsive budgeting--perpetuate Nigeria's severe and inequitable maternal mortality crisis.