Did you know that Mom in Swahili is "Mama"? I like to think that's because no matter which country we call home, no matter which language we speak and no matter our age, each one of us has a very special place in our hearts for our mothers.
Mothers are more likely to invest in their children and are huge assets to the global economy. Evidence from a range of countries has shown us that increasing the share of household income controlled by women changes spending habits to benefit children. Further, women, including mothers, can increase their income globally by up to 76% if the wage gap and employment participation gap are closed between men and women. This is a global value of $17 trillion!
Poverty affects childhood social and emotional development, which in turn affects a child's cognitive and educational performance. But new research has found that in order to close the gap between the performance of rich and poor children everywhere, one should start with mothers. Both neuroscientist to economist researchers argue that investing in early childhood is the most cost-effective way to affect long-term outcomes like education and employment of a child. By educating and assisting poor mothers in singing, talking and playing with their children, bonds increase between mother and child. These bonds lay the foundation for learning, emotional regulation and relationships, which affect a child into adulthood. Like we said, mothers are everything.
I hope that you will join with me and salute the strength and love of mothers around the world.
For more statistics on women's economic empowerment, see UN Women