Survey ranks Norway best for mothers

Norway is the best place in the world to be
a mother, according an annual report by Save the Children.

The United States came No. 28, below
Estonia, Latvia and Croatia.

In compiling its 11th Mothers’ Index, the
charity analysed factors that affect the health and well-being of women and
children, including access to health care, education and economic
opportunities. That’s why Norway came out on top: Women are well paid, have
easy access to contraception and are entitled to generous government-mandated
maternity leave.

Dragging down the United States among its
“developed” counterparts were high rates of maternal mortality (1 in
4,800) and infant mortality (8 per 1,000), low pre-school enrolment (61 per cent)
and one of the least generous maternity-leave policies in terms of duration and

“A woman in the United States is more
than five times as likely as a woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece or Italy
to die from pregnancy-related causes in her lifetime and her risk of maternal
death is nearly 10-fold that of a woman in Ireland,” the report said.

As for infant mortality, “At this
rate, a child in the US is more than twice as likely as a child in Finland,
Iceland, Sweden or Singapore to die before his or her fifth birthday.”

Following Norway in the top 10 are
Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Finland, the Netherlands,
Belgium and Germany.

Afghanistan sits at the bottom, behind
Niger, Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Yemen, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Sudan,
Eritrea and Equatorial Guinea.