The author, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, made a research for 25 years in the shantytown Bom Jesus da Mata in Brazil wherein there is a high mortality rate of infant and child. Also, mothers take the death of their children so casually to an extent that they expect their child to die once they are born because of different worst economic conditions. There is also a hint of gender inequality where women are frequently forced into the shadow economy as stated by the author.
Under unfortunate circumstances and economic conditions such as malnutrition, widely spread of diseases especially the communicable one, drought, lack of sanitation and other worst case scenarios are seen in the shantytown Bom Jesus da Mata in Brazil. According to an article released by Texas A;M University back in 2014, more than 23,000 American infants died because of different maternal causes such as diabetes, Zika and other infections, pollutants and viruses.
Given that this type of environment is present, pregnant women seem to be hopeless in their about-to-born baby to survive in the world he or she is about to live. The baby has no option but to die. Imagine, this kind of situation where the mother despair her child to survive, it’s cruel. However, the mothers are so casual in this shantytown in the death of their infants. It seems that their heart turns into a stone. A glimpse of hope is totally ignored by the mother if she sees her newborn child already sick. It’s like it’s already been planned and destined, the child’s death. Poor little one, not just the world is against you but even your dearest mother doesn’t shed a tear.
Unlike in the Philippines, in our modern society, some families live in poverty tend to have more members while some of those in the higher class doesn’t even want to bear a child. Ironic isn’t it? The 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) showed that women in poor households had the tendency to bear more children than those who are well-off. The wealth index showed that women in the poorest households bear more children at an average of 5.2 children per woman compared to an average of 1.9 children per woman in the wealthiest households.
As the author states in the article ‘women are frequently forced into the shadow economy’, there’s a hint of gender inequality. I think this is one of the factors why mothers or women are in the state of poverty and they don’t have a choice but to let their child die. Also, some of them might think that they don’t want their children experience the hardships that they’ve been through. They worked under the heat of the sun, clear land to plant and weed in exchange for a small amount of money. They work in the rich families leaving their own families at home but only paid a little. Abusing labor forces in this time especially if it is composed of women, it is very unrighteous. Mothers sacrifice a lot for her children in order to give them a food to eat and water to drink despite the lack of resources that their place experience.
According to an article published by International Labour Organization, equality in pay has improved in the US since 1979 when women earned about 62% as much as men. In 2010, American women on average earned 81% of what their male counterparts earned. Women’s participation in the U.S. labor force climbed during the 1970s and 1980s, reaching 60% in 2000. However, in 2010 this figure has declined to 46.7% and is not expected to increase by 2018.
In today’s society, fortunately we have accepted gender equality between men and women. Women are not just for household works but also can do corporate and other jobs that men can do and vice versa. Both men and women are allowed to study in schools, and are given rights to hold positions.