PND Connections - State of the World's Mothers 2003
Save the Children has released its fourth annual Mothers' Index, which ranks the status of mothers' well-being in nineteen industrialized nations and ninety-eight countries in the developing world. Published in the report State of the World's Mothers 2003, the index compares the health, education, and political status of mothers and reveals that a mother's level of education and her access to family planning services are strongly associated with infant survival and well-being. In Sweden, the highest-ranking country, 99 percent of women are literate, 72 percent use modern birth control, and only three of 1,000 infants do not make it to their first birthday. In last-place Niger, 8 percent of women are literate, 4 percent use birth control, and 156 of 1,000 infants die in the first year. In addition to the index, the report introduces a campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of armed conflict has on women and children and includes a chapter on protecting families in Iraq.