BANGLADESH RANKS HIGHER IN 14′ MOTHER INDEX
In commemoration of Mother’s Day, Save the Children is published its 15th annual State of the World’s Mothers report. The focus is on millions of women and children living in fragile communities beset by conflict and natural disasters, and their everyday struggle to survive.
Since 2000, Save the Children’s annual Mothers’ Index has become a reliable international tool to show where mothers and children fare best, and where they face the greatest hardships, using the latest data on health, education, economics and female political participation. The trends so far this century, shows how armed conflict, political instability and natural disasters have played a major role in undermining the well-being of mothers and children in the world’s poorest countries. We also see that progress is possible, even in countries suffering from devastating humanitarian crises.
Bangladesh advanced by six spots to secure 130th position in a global survey covering 178 countries, showing the country’s status in saving and improving the lives of mothers and children.
With the rise, Bangladesh has widened the gap with neighbouring India and Pakistan, but still lags behind Nepal (116th) and Sri Lanka (89th).
The Index shows that Finland is the best place to be a mother for the second straight year and Somalia came in last.
Motherhood is the toughest job in the world. With long hours, constant demands and no time off, caring for our children is an all-consuming task. But for women living in crisis, the challenges of being a mother are greater – and the stakes are so much higher. 2014 research demonstrates how critical – and difficult – the mother-child connection is during a humanitarian crisis, when families’ lives are thrown into turmoil. It’s no surprise that the 10 toughest places to be a mother in this year’s Mothers’ Index all have a recent history of armed conflict and are considered to be fragile states.
Amid all the turmoil in Bangladesh, over the past 15 years maternal mortality decreased by 60 percent, child mortality was halved, average number of years of schooling increased by three years, and gross national per capita income as well as the number of women in parliament were more than doubled.
“This is a result of strong political will and willingness to invest in healthcare for children,” said Michael Foley, director of health and nutrition at Save the Children, Bangladesh.However, Bangladesh has a long way to go in ending preventable child and maternal deaths, he added.
One out of every 24 children dies before their fifth birthday, 60 percent of those within the first 28 days of life, many from conditions which would have been easily treatable if they had access to a skilled health worker. However, government funding for health as a percentage of the total budget has been decreasing over time, Foley mentioned. This year’s report focuses on mothers in humanitarian crises. For Bangladesh, it says that the country has always been vulnerable to cyclones and seasonal floods.