State of the World's Moms

Today many moms in the United States will likely wake up to Hallmark cards, homemade breakfasts, and a variety of other gifts from their children to honor their role in the family. As America marks Mother's Day, there's a lot of hype around the holiday, which calls for special appreciation of immense work, strength, and commitment that comes with a woman's work. Yet according to the landmark State of the World's Mother's report released this week by Save the Children, it's clear that many moms around the globe will be waking up to much different realities. The report, which is published annually to review key developments and indicators on maternal well-being around the world, showcases some of the major struggles and obstacles that are blocking women, their families, and countries, from achieving progress. It highlights that more than 250 million children under age 5 live in countries affected by armed conflict- Palestine included. Further, women and children worldwide are up to 14 times more likely than men to die in a disaster.

At TYO, we're well-aware of the challenges for mothers in Palestine- which mimic much of what's happening globally. That's why we don't offer cute cards or flowers when it comes to honoring moms- instead, we're working throughout the year to offer tangible, sustainable ways for women to value themselves, gain confidence, and overcome the obstacles to their empowerment. Programs like The Women's Group and Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East provide women with opportunities to increase their self-esteem, understand their intrinsic value in the community, and develop new skills and strategies to better their children's lives, as well.

FWEME Entrepreneurs are all smiles after a recent training on confidence and branding.

Our work is closely aligned with the recommendations offered by Save the Children for strengthening maternal health and wellness around the world- and below, check out a few highlight from the report, and how we're improving the state of Palestine's mothers.

  • Save the Children notes that in Palestine- along with other conflict-affected countries like Syria and Somalia- the majority of sexual violence victims are under the 18. At TYO, we know this is startlingly true- and that's why we bring in experts in child psychology, legal advocates, and children's counselors to equip mothers with the warning signs that their child might be facing sexual abuse, but also to discuss prevention tactics. Further, we help mothers create techniques for talking with their children about potential abuse, and improving communication on such a sensitive matter.
  • Save the Children recounts that in places in Palestine like Gaza- increased violence has led to poorer health practices and outcomes for women and infants. Particularly, the report cites that mothers in Gaza and similar places have relied on infant formula due to stress, misinformation, and lack of privacy around breast-feeding. Breast-milk is one of the safest sources of nutrition for babies- and the artificial formulas distributed during times of emergency or conflict don't provide the same value. At TYO, we work with local organizations like the Family Planning and Protection Society to inform mothers of the importance of breastfeeding, the potential harms in only relying on formula, and available resources for those who might be need lactation assistance.
  •   The report lists that a woman in Palestine can expect 13.2 years of education in her lifetime- which is relatively higher than other conflict-affected countries. Yet what we know at TYO is that this education means little unless it's translated into experience and action- women can receive schooling, but it's most important that they incorporate their knowledge into the workforce and their own wellbeing, instead of relying on male family members to make decisions for them and their life trajectory. That's why programs like FWEME establish a clear path for women entrepreneurs who are eager to move forward professionally and personally.

As we wish moms in America a very happy Mother's Day this Monday, we're also wishing- and working- to improve the state of women in Palestine, and around the world.

-Cayce, Women's Empowerment Program Coordinator