Follow by Email

Saturday, May 12, 2012

How does the United States stack up as a country in which to be a mom?

Happy Mothers Day

     Time magazine had an article on the well being of mothers in over 160 countries in the world. The article was based on a report from the Save the Children Foundation.

"The annual report  rates the well-being of mothers and children in 165 countries based on a variety of factors like mother’s education, infant mortality rate, breast-feeding prevalence and election of women to government office."

      The United States moved up 6 places in the last year from 31st to 25th based on the greater educational levels of women.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that the US that,

"it falls woefully behind other developed countries on many measures. For instance, the U.S. has the highest maternal death rate of any industrialized nation, with a 1 in 2,100 risk of dying in childbirth; women in the U.S. are seven times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than a woman in Ireland or Italy. Infant mortality rates in the U.S. aren’t much better. The under-5 mortality rate in the U.S. is 8 per 1,000 births, which puts it behind 40 other countries. The report also notes that the U.S. has one of the least generous maternity leave policies of any wealthy nation. It is the only developed country — and one of only a handful of countries worldwide — that does not guarantee paid leave for working moms. Instead, by law, new mothers get 12 weeks of unpaid leave."

     By contrast Norway provides, "After giving birth, mothers can take up to 36 weeks off work with 100 percent of their pay, or they may opt for 46 weeks with 80 percent pay (or less if the leave period is shared with the father). In addition, Norwegian law provides for up to 12 months of additional child care leave, which can be taken by both fathers and mothers. When they return to work, mothers have the right to nursing breaks as they need them.
       The 5 best countries are 1. Norway 2. Iceland 3. Sweden 4. New Zealand 5. Denmark (notice the Scandinavian countries).  The 5 worst are 161. Mali 162. Guinea-Bissau 163. Yemen 164. Afghanistan
165. Niger

No comments: