(May 2011) On May 26, 2011, the Interagency Gender Working Group (IGWG) held a brown bag with Denise Byrd, an expert in maternal and child health, reproductive health, and family planning. Denise Byrd is country director for Afghanistan and chief of party, Health Services Support Project, Jhpeigo, Johns Hopkins University.

Byrd discussed the challenges faced by maternal health providers in Afghanistan, which has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world at 1,600 deaths for every 100,000 pregnancies. Also addressed was the role of gender, as well as some successful intervention programs, including community midwifery education, community-based post-partum family planning, and family health action groups.