In the United States, we can practically start planning our kids' birthdays from the day they come home from the hospital; deaths in childhood are quite rare. In Ghana, though, you can't take a child's fifth birthday for granted.
Even as it leads the planet in medical and scientific accomplishments, the United States also has some downright shameful disparities in its health care, and one of the worst is in the area of infant mortality.
Globally, we are seeing a significant decline in maternal death rates -- a one third reduction since 1990. And yet we still have a long way to go. Childbirth remains the biggest killer of young women around the world.
In the face of our enormous economic success, why are we so deficient in dealing with the health of our infants and the population as a whole or in educating our children, in comparison with other countries in the world?
Leading social innovators from around the world tackle the power of social innovation and the impact it is having globally on issues ranging from poverty and famine to infant mortality and disease eradication.
We can attempt to build a protective cocoon around our child and do so with fervor, but national policy nixes all attempts to making a difference as parents. As soon as we breathe or drink water we are connected to the planet and everyone else around us.
At the end of this month, the seven billionth person will be born--that's a lot of mothers and children. To expand awareness of maternal and infant needs, Johnson & Johnson and the AOL/Huffington Post Media Group will collaborate and launch extensive content related to global motherhood.
Charles Kenny's recent book is an antidote to the pessimism many of us feel about the state of the world. Kenny shows that many indicators of wellbeing have improved rapidly even in the absence of consistent economic growth.
To truly honor motherhood, we must do more than buy a box of chocolates. In that spirit I want to recognize the local leaders who aim to change policies and systems that affect mothers and their families.
We can't afford not to promote economic and social rights when constitutional courts, schools, and ordinary people protesting on the streets around the world are beginning to understand and apply them.