Data on children and women in Montenegro (MICS 3)
The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) is a household survey programme developed by UNICEF to assist countries in filling data gaps for monitoring the situation of children and women.
In its third round now, and implemented in over 50 countries, the MICS is certainly UNICEF's major contributon when it comes to monitoring the situation of women and children around the world. It serves as a major tool for monitoring progress towards the World Fit For Children Goals, the MDGs, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and other internationally agreed benchmarks.
The 2006 MICS in Montenegro is a nationally representative survey of households, women and children including a vast array of information on areas such as: nutrition, child health, environment, reproductive health, child development, education, child protection and HIV/AIDS.
Considering the findings, we can see that Montenegro has made substantial progress in many areas. At the same time, there are a number of outstanding issues where progress remains slow. These include:
Child discipline: Sixty-one percent of children 2-14 years were subjected to at least one form of psychological or physical punishment by their mothers/caretakers or other household members. Physical punishment decreases with the age of the child. Mother's education is strongly correlated with the child disciplining methods used. Less educated mothers more often use violent methods in child discipline than non-violent methods.
Education: We can see that only 30% of children aged 36-59 months are attending some form of organized early childhood education programme. These figures vary greatly by region: the percentage of children in the South currently attending preschool education is 44%, while for children in the Central region it is 33% and only 15% in the North.
Exclusive breastfeeding: Another striking finding is that only 19.3% of infants aged 0-5 months are exclusively breastfed. This rate is far below the international standard promoted by UNICEF and WHO - exclusive breastfeeding (100%) for all infants up to 6 months of age.