Social Protection Policy Paper. Paper 15

Social protection for maternity: Key policy trends and statistics

This policy paper: (i) provides a global overview of the organization of maternity cash benefits and maternity care in 188 countries; (ii) analyses trends and recent policies, e.g. extension of maternity protection coverage in a large number of low- and middle-income countries; (iii) describes the negative impacts of fiscal consolidation and adjustment measures in a number of higher-income economies; (iv) presents the costs of a universal benefit to all pregnant women in 57 low and middle income countries; and (v) calls for the expansion of maternity protection to accelerate progress on women’s rights and enhancing the well-being of new mothers, promoting inclusive development and social justice.