The Index documents conditions for mothers around the world, and shows where mothers fare best and where they face the greatest hardships. It is derived using an equation which factors in indicators of maternal health, children’s well-being, education status, economic status and political status.
Nine developed countries were rated above Australia in the Index, and consisted of Finland at number 1, followed by Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Belgium and Germany.
The bottom 10 countries were all from sub-Saharan Africa, where on average 1 woman in 30 dies from pregnancy-related causes, and 1 child in 7 dies before his or her 5th birthday. The report concludes:
These statistics go beyond mere numbers. The human despair, lost opportunities and impaired economic growth represented in these numbers demand mothers, families and communities everywhere be given the basic tools they need to break the cycle of poverty and improve the quality of life for themselves, their children and for generations to come.
To all mothers and women around the world facing the hardships and joys of bearing and raising children, wishing you a happy day.
[image thanks to Whitney Lauren on flickr]