This course examines the biological, cultural, and political frameworks that put females at risk for high rates of morbidity and mortality. Using the (8) Millennial Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations and its partners to frame our conversations, we will work to understand the UNs targeted programs. We will unpack the complex global issues that reproductive aged women face, and investigate how obstetric death rates can be used as a litmus test to understanding the underlying health contexts, disparities, and political/cultural systems that impact wellness. We will juxtapose the roles of biological health, specifically pregnancy and birth, with cultural practices, to consider other factors that adversely impact women's health including: endemic and epidemic diseases, domestic violence, and structural violence. Through this course we will aim to understand the larger contexts and complexities of improving and supporting reproductive aged women's health and wellness as we near the MDGs target date of 2015.