As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Crusading for Mothers on International Women’s Day 5: State of the World’s Mothers

Today we look into the state of the world’s mothers…

My story: We moved to Singapore from Canada when my son was only 10 months old. I had committed to continue taking care of him full-time.  I had such interesting interactions with people about this topic. For example, while engaged in a conversation with a cab driver… if it’s a weekday very likely there’s two things that will be outrightly asked– your grandson? no work today? So I say “this is my son and I’m taking care of him.” Response normally goes..”so you don’t work.” Then I say, “I work 24/7.” (Note: the care of young children in Singapore is usually delegated to a nanny and occasionally to a grandparent)

In many places in Southeast Asia and around the world, mothers return to their work outside the home too soon and leave their babies in the care of nannies.  And in the Singapore where I live, many of these nannies are from the Philippines, my birth country. The majority of these nannies are mothers themselves.  This is a growing problem in the Philippines and other developing countries. These women leave their very young children in the hope of augmenting the family income. They go overseas to take care of the children of mothers in the first world who leave their children in their care because of high paying careers. Thus, the mothering of children is a global problem. Less and less mothers get the opportunity to have a basic loving bond with their children. This is a concern. Studies have shown that children who have not experienced attachment or the loving bond between parent and child will not grow up to be adults who care, and very likely as proven time and again will cause trouble in the world. Fortunately, some children fall under the care of proxy mothers who come from loving families. Thus, despite the fact that the children spend minimal time with their biological mothers, these fortunate children are still able to experience a healthy loving bond with the care provider.
I believe that the role of mothers is crucial in the formation of society. Thus, governments should provide every kind of support to mothers around the world so they are able to fulfill their invaluable and greatest role in society. For example, a longer maternity leave with tenure; infant care cost assistance in cases where the mother is either working outside the home, studying or ill;  work-based daycare centres so working mothers have the ability to breastfeed and nurture their babies. What about MAMA loans so mothers can have the capital needed to engage in enterprise and have financial independence without having to leave their homes/countries.
Let’s take a look at the state of the world’s mothers…
Thanks to the State of the world’s Mothers Annual Report of the SAVE THE CHILDREN organization, we get a better picture of how mothers are treated around the world. The following video-info and data are from the 2013 Report:
Video 1: 
FIRST MOMENTS:Mothers Reflect on Love at First Sight

Video 2: 
The 2013 Mothers’ Index Rankings
Take a look at the Best and Worst Countries to Be a Mother
-The survey ranks 176 countries. Below (left) are the 30 top-ranked and (right) the 30 bottom-ranked

Canada (where I had my son) ranks #22, Philippines (where I was born) ranks #106. Here’s the shocking part–the USA ranks #30. If you’re wondering why check out the complete ranking and survey, go to page 69 of the SAVE The Children Annual Report for 2013. 

Mothers’ Index Rankings (page 66 of the Report)
“European countries – along with Australia – dominate the top positions on the Mothers’ Index while countries in sub-Saharan Africa fill the lowest ranks. The United States places 30th this year.
The 10 top-ranked countries, in general, are among the best countries in the world for mothers’ and children’s health, educational, economic and political status.
The 10 bottom-ranked countries – all from sub-Saharan Africa – are a reverse image of the top 10, performing poorly on all indicators. Conditions for mothers and their children in these countries are devastating:
• On average, 1 woman in 30 is likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause.
• 1 child in 7 dies before his or her fifth birthday.
• Children can expect to receive as little as 2 years but at most only 9 years of formal education.
• GNI per capita, a measure of a country’s economic welfare and a mother’s access to resources, is less than $600 on average.
• Women hold only 11 percent of parliamentary seats on average.
• Eight out of 10 women are likely to suffer the loss of a child in their lifetime.” – Read more…
Check out these links for the highlights of the State of the World’s Mothers Report from Save the children: Washington Post,  NY Daily News,  Huffington Post, & CNN
Artist’s Note:
With this image, I wish to say: ‘Let us- as a global family- embrace the mothers!’ Let us endeavour to provide them every care and support so they may fulfill their invaluable and greatest role in society- birthing and raising children- OUR future! 
What can we do for mothers?
Support organizations helping out mothers around the world 
(Here are a few of them):
Every Mother Counts
Save the Children
OXFAM Watch this video: “Get together, Lift Lives”)
Milk Unleashed
Mercy Housing

Or check out and support local groups/organizations that are helping out mothers in your city.

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This entry was posted on March 8, 2014 by in Uncategorized.
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