Challenges facing women in Guatemala is the focus of a two-part global health series by Ray Suarez Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8 (March 2, 2010) PBS NEWSHOUR marks International Women's Health Day (March 8) with a two-part series from Guatemala focusing on two major struggles women face in that country. PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez examines a culture of violence against women now fueled by drug trafficking and the struggles to teach women about birth control. The reports air Monday, March 7, and Tuesday, March 8, 2010 (check local listings). Monday, March 7 - Ray Suarez reports on how Guatemalan communities are trying to combat record levels of violence against women as drug traffickers amplify the dangers. Hear from families who share their tragic stories about losing a daughter or loved one due to what Ray describes as a "culture of impunity." Viewers are also taken inside educational sessions, run by organizations like The Population Council, that aim to empower young girls from Guatemala's marginalized indigenous population. Tuesday March 8 - High infant and maternal mortality rates plague the country of Guatemala. Women start having children in their teens and often continue into their forties. Health experts speak to Ray Suarez about the cultural and logistical obstacles tied to the use of birth control as a means of family planning. Some of the most prominent impediments to using birth control are cultural. Both the Catholic and Protestant evangelical churches discourage the practice, and birth control also goes against other deeply ingrained customs and beliefs of the Guatemalan people. On the NewsHour's website, you can watch as Hari Sreenivasan interviews Ray Suarez about what he discovered during his reporting. Read a reporter's notebook from Ray on the complexities of preaching family planning in a traditional and religious society. Two reports from the field look at the high levels of violence against women and efforts to provide young girls with education on how to protect themselves against violence. There is also a look at the high rates of malnutrition among Guatemala's children and the health implications of the condition later in life. Watch for much more online as our series begins March 7. Web features will include a slide show on indigenous communities in Guatemala, a time line of historical events, and features on drug cartel violence in the region and gang-related crime in Guatemala City. PBS NEWSHOUR's Global Health Unit is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. PBS NEWSHOUR is seen five nights a week on more than 315 PBS stations across the country and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, in association with WETA Washington, DC, and THIRTEEN in New York. Major corporate funding for The NewsHour is provided by Chevron, BNSF Railway, Toyota, and Pacific Life, with additional support from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.
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