Mothers in Norway and Australia are
in the best nations in the world to bring up their children while mothers in
Afghanistan and many African nations fare worst, according to an annual
The 11th annual Save The Children
index, which ranks the best and worst places to be a mother, looks at the
well-being of women and children in 160 countries which includes access to
education, economic opportunities, and health care.
The list last year was headed by
Sweden but for 2010 Norway came first followed by Australia, Iceland, Sweden
and Denmark with New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany
rounding out the top 10.
In the bottom 10, Afghanistan
ranked last preceded by Niger, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Democratic Republic
of Congo, Mali, Sudan, Eritrea and Equatorial Guinea. In 2009 Niger was last.
The 2010 list of 43 developed
nations and 117 in the developing world highlighted the fact that nearly
350,000 women die during pregnancy or childbirth every year and nearly 9
million children die before their fifth birthday.
The United States came 28th in the
list, down from 27 last year, largely as its rate for maternal mortality — 1
in 4,800 — is one of the highest in the developed world. The United States
also offers less maternity leave than other wealthy nations.
“While the situation in the
United States needs to improve, mothers in the developing world are facing far
greater risks to their own health and that of their children,” Mary Beth
Powers, vice-chair of Save The Children’s Every One campaign, said in a statement.