Improving the health and lives of women and girls is more than just a popular political idea. Women account for more than half the world’s population, but in many places across the globe, the unique health concerns of women and girls are not a priority.
While it’s true that generally, women’s health measures are better in industrialized, wealthy nations than in poorer nations, that doesn’t always bear out. In fact, the United States has one of the worst maternal mortality rates among wealthy nations — and it’s getting worse.
Ensuring girls and women are able to lead long, healthy lives aren’t just benefitting those individuals who have a better outlook on life. A growing body of research indicates that healthy girls and women lead to a healthier society, whether through healthier children and babies or stronger economies.
Life Expectancy and Maternal Mortality
Women tend to live longer than men on average. Still, in some countries, women live less longer than their peers in other countries. For instance, women in Spain have the highest life expectancy at 86.3 years, while in Finland that number goes to 84.4. It’s even lower in the UK, where an average life expectancy for women is 83 years.
The place of the highest women life expectancy worldwide is Japan, where women tend to life up to 87.2 years. For the U.S., that number is 81.1 years.
Sadly, Africa has the lowest life expectancy for women, with Sierra Leone being on the last place with only 52.8 years and Chad on the second lowest place with 54.5 years.
Sierra Leone takes on the lead in another unfavorable statistic, and that one has to do with maternal mortality. It’s as high as 1,360 deaths per 100,000 live births.
On the other hand, Finland, Iceland, Poland, and Greece have only 3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
The same as with human rights, women’s rights get violated often.
Intimate partner violence has an adverse effect on women’s success and it happens throughout the globe. The highest percentage of women who have experienced partner violence is 78%, in Angola. The lowest percentage is in Canada, at 6%. In the UK, that number is 29%, while in Latvia and Denmark it goes up to 32%, which is the highest percentage of violence against women in Europe.
Although forbidden in many parts of the world, child marriage is still a common occurrence, notably in countries with poor economies. Niger is the country with the highest rate of child marriages, 61%. In most European countries the same number is 0%. Those countries are Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, but also some countries outside of Europe, such as North Korea, South Korea, and Singapore.
Women’s Suicide Rates
Fewer women commit suicide than men.
However, in some countries, these numbers are quite high, such as 32.6 per 100,000 people in Lesotho and 14.5 per 100,000 in India.
The lowest suicide rates for women are in Barbados, only 0.3 per 100,000 people.
This infographic explores how many countries around the world are performing when it comes to a handful of ways to measure the health of girls and women. From maternal mortality to lifespan, use this infographic to compare and contrast how different countries and regions are succeeding (or failing) in making women’s health a societal priority.