In time for Mother’s Day, an international organization to improve the lives of children has ranked the best countries for moms worldwide.
Save the Children scored countries on women’s access to “health care, education and opportunities.” Out of 164 countries, Norway ranked first. Afghanistan came in last.
In Afghanistan, one in eleven women die in childbirth. In Norway, the risk of maternal mortality is 1 in 7,600 births.
The United States ranked 31st. According to the study, the lower ranking was due to America’s conservative maternity leave policies, low percentage of women in Congress, relatively high maternal mortality rate (1 in 2,100) and the percentage of American children enrolled in preschool (58 percent).
Eight of the top ten countries were located in Western Europe. Eight of the worst ten places to be a mom were in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Mary Beth Powers, chief of Save the Children’s newborn and child survival campaign, chalked much of the disparity in rankings to access to health care.
“In many countries, vaccines, antibiotics, and care during pregnancy are hard to reach and as a result child and maternal death rates are very high,” said Powers.
“This Mother’s Day, world leaders should honor mothers everywhere by ensuring they can celebrate what they want most — healthy children,” added Powers. “That means helping all families, moms and babies be within reach of a trained health worker.”
See the complete rankings here.