America may be one of the most expensive places to have a baby in the world, but thanks to a hospital in Zimbabwe, it's not the most ridiculous. On top of a delivery fee of $50, one hospital is charging women an additional $5 for every scream during childbirth.
The hospital in question claims that screams create a "false alarm." The real question is, for what exactly? The fact that childbirth is painful isn't news to anyone. And in a country where eight mothers die every day in childbirth, it seems that this sense of "alarm" isn't exactly unwarranted. This fee is causing some serious hardships for Zimbabweans. The people of the poverty-stricken nation can barely afford the standard delivery fee: The average annual income per person is $150, making the delivery fee a third of that number. With this fee already such a heavy burden, these up charges are even more absurd.
However, with nearly 62-percent of Zimbabweans saying they've paid some sort of bribe in the past year, it's clear that corruption runs rampant in this country. For women who can't pay the fee, they're detained at the hospital and charged interest until they can cough up the cash. Thankfully, a member of the UK-based Transparency International has met with the Zimbabwean deputy prime minister — since then, the number of complaints about the charges has dropped off. For the sake of these families — and the right of every woman to scream — we hope it stays that way.
Stay In The Know
Marie Claire email subscribers get intel on fashion and beauty trends, hot-off-the-press celebrity news, and more. Sign up here.
I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.
Meet the New Spring Handbag Collection Our Editors Are Excited to Shop
It's a pastel party.
By Raina Mendonça
At Fashion Week, Hats Are the New Hair
Indulgent and quirky, the fall 2024 runways have spoken in favor of fancy headwear.
By Sara Holzman
Finally: Sunscreens that Won't Break You Out
Lightweight formulas that protect against sun and acne.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
36 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
It's just one of the many ways women still aren't equal to men.
By Brooke Knappenberger
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein
Want to Fight for Abortion Rights in Texas? Raise Your Voice to State Legislators
Emily Cain, executive director of EMILY's List and and former Minority Leader in Maine, says that to stop the assault on reproductive rights, we need to start demanding more from our state legislatures.
By Emily Cain
Your Abortion Questions, Answered
Here, MC debunks common abortion myths you may be increasingly hearing since Texas' near-total abortion ban went into effect.
By Rachel Epstein
The Future of Afghan Women and Girls Depends on What We Do Next
Between the U.S. occupation and the Taliban, supporting resettlement for Afghan women and vulnerable individuals is long overdue.
By Rona Akbari
How to Help Afghanistan Refugees and Those Who Need Aid
With the situation rapidly evolving, organizations are desperate for help.
By Katherine J. Igoe
It’s Time to Give Domestic Workers the Protections They Deserve
The National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, reintroduced today, would establish a new set of standards for the people who work in our homes and take a vital step towards racial and gender equity.
By Ai-jen Poo
The Biden Administration Announced It Will Remove the Hyde Amendment
The pledge was just one of many gender equity commitments made by the administration, including the creation of the first U.S. National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence.
By Megan DiTrolio