It’s not particularly easy being a woman in most countries; even in areas where women are presumably seen as equal to men, their pay is often lacking. But that’s just one part of the problem. In some places, women receive minimal education, have a short life expectancy, are likely to lose a child at some point, and don’t have easy access to medical treatment.
In its annual State of the World’s Mothers report, Save the Children compared 165 countries (the majority in the developing world) on progress in maternal health, economic status, education, contraception use, and more.
If you don’t feel like reading through the whole report, The National Post has conveniently laid out the findings in an infographic. It reflects data on maternal health, economic status, education, contraception use, and other factors to show where women are doing well and where their lives can be exceptionally hard.
Among “More Developed Countries:”
- Scandinavia is the best (as per usual)! Scandinavian countries that often top quality of life rankings are tops, with longer life expectancies, years in school, more contraception use, a higher percentage of government seats held by women, and a higher ratio of female to male earned income.
- Canada beats the USA. The U.S. is behind Canada, but ahead of some European countries.
- Israel takes the lead. Israel does the best (though it’s somewhat odd that the country isn’t considered more developed).
- China ranks last, although beats the U.S. by most metrics. China ranks last in the category, but interestingly has a higher percent of women in government than the U.S. and a higher ratio of female to male earned income.
Among “Least Developed Countries:”
- Somalia ranks last (not surprisingly). Only 1% of the population using modern contraception, women only spend an average of two years in school, and the average life expectancy is 53.
Save the Children offers a number of policy recommendations to alleviate some of these problems. The bottom line: better nutrition education will make a big difference. Obviously, though, there need to be larger systemic changes to really change the place of women in the world.
(Click to make larger.)