Mother’s Day is all about expressing gratitude to those who deserve it year round. But if the newly released “Mothers Index” from the group Save the Children is accurate, we in the U.S. have a funny way of showing Mom we care.
The list, part of a larger report produced annually, ranks the best and worst countries in which to be a mother, and the U.S. scores a less than admirable #28 out of 160 countries evaluated. Norway topped the list and Afghanistan came in dead last. Criteria included maternal mortality rates, poverty rates, education levels attained, access to healthcare, maternity leave policies, and the health of children under the age of five.
Countries in front of the U.S. include the Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Greece, Croatia and Slovenia. The biggest factor negatively affecting the U.S. ranking was maternal mortality rates; one in every 4800 mothers in the U.S. die from pregnancy-related deaths, one of the highest rates among Western industrialized nations. Quoting from the “2010 State of the World’s Mothers Report”:
A woman in the Unites 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.
Another distrubing finding in the report is that one of every 1000 children in the U.S. die before the age of five, a rate comparable to Slovakia and Montenegro.
At this rate, a child in the U.S. is more than twice as likely as a child in Finland, Iceland, Sweden or Singapore to die before his or her fifth birthday.
Not surprisingly, the U.S. ranks lowest among all Western nations on duration of maternity leave and percent of wages paid while on leave.
Other findings from the report:
- Fewer than 15 percent of births are attended by skilled health personnel in Afghanistan and Chad. In Ethiopia, only 6 percent of births are attended. Skilled health personnel are present at virtually every birth in Norway.
- The risk for a woman to die of pregnancy or childbirth-related causes in Niger is 1 in 7. The risk is 1 in 8 in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece and Italy, the risk of maternal death is less than 1 in 25,000 and in Ireland it is less than 1 in 47,600.
- 1 child in 5 does not reach his or her fifth birthday in Angola, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. In Afghanistan, child mortality rates are higher than 1 in 4. In Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg and Sweden, only 1 child in 333 dies before age 5.
- A typical female in Afghanistan, Angola, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea and Guinea-Bissau receives less than five years of formal education. In Niger, women receive less than four years. In Australia and New Zealand, the average woman stays in school for more than 20 years.
- In Afghanistan, Jordan, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen, women earn 25 cents or less for every dollar men earn. Saudi Arabian and Palestinian women earn only 16 and 12 cents respectively to the male dollar. In Mongolia, women earn 87 cents for every dollar men earn and in Mozambique they earn 90 cents.
HT: Yahoo News