From online and print advertisements to blogs and social media platforms dedicated entirely to the subjects, wellness, mindfulness, well-being, and the like have become a new societal focus and a global industry. These products, services, and ideas have emerged from growing aspirations for overall health—physical, mental, and emotional.
Curious about the new industry, the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, examined the quest for balance by researching women’s health and well-being. This study sought to define and better understand women’s health and well-being from a global perspective, specifically surveying women and public officials in France, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, and India. It explored how the definitions and practices related to women’s well-being differ depending on culture and life circumstance.
While definitive measures of well-being exist—such as access to basic necessities—this research found that both definitions and practices of well-being could change across cultures and between different living situations. Factors including income and immediate circumstances affected both the definition and perception of well-being in each global market.