Julian Omidi, co-founder of No More Poverty, discusses the impact poverty has on women and children throughout America.
Often when poverty is discussed in the media, the emphasis is on national statistics. Contributors discuss the federal poverty line and the national average. What is often left out are the individuals who are most heavily impacted by poverty, women and children. Recently, Save the Children released their 2015 State of the World's Mothers Report, which focuses on the impact of rapid urbanization on the world's poorest women.
The report focused on the relative health and well-being of young women and children throughout the world. In overall performance, the US slipped to number 33 on the list of 179 countries surveyed, even though we are one of the wealthiest countries in the global economy. What's more alarming is the number of infant deaths that occur in our individual cities.
Of the world's richest capitals, our nation's own capital Washington DC was found to have the highest rate of infant mortality. In Washington, 6.6 babies die per 1,000 births. What's worse is that America also has a high maternal death rate. One in 1,800 women face potential maternal death. This is significantly higher than other countries.
The capital isn't the only city that faces these statistics. In New York, 4.6 out of every 1,000 live births are said to end in death. In specific areas of New York, like the Bronx which is the poorest community, there is an infant death rate of 5.7 to every 1,000 live births. Infant mortality rates expand further than at birth, it includes up to the first year of life. Some of these statistics are influenced by factors like the amount of urbanization and industrialization that could be unhealthy for a newborn child.
It is clear from these figures and the report that America has much to improve when it comes to the health of mothers and children who are living in poverty. Compared to other developed nations, we are slipping. Yet, there is much criticism towards the discussion of poverty within the social dialogue. On the conservative side, there are many people who advocate against anti-poverty measures like national health care and a higher minimum wage.
We must band together and cross the aisle in Washington if we want true reform. It is the only way to make America a stronger nation as a whole. The inability to do so will lead to more death and suffering, which shouldn't be tolerated.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi is the co-founder of No More Poverty, a nonprofit that aims to reduce poverty in America.