Afghanistan · Australia · · Iceland · maternity leave · mortality rate · Norway · Save the Children 2011 · USA

USA ranks number 31 with Save the Children!

Did you know that the USA ranks number 31 on the Save the Children´s State of Mothers 2011?

M right after his birth in Iceland.
Delivered by a midwife naturally.

At the top of the list is Norway, then Australia, and then my home country Iceland comes in third as the best places to be a mother.

This is all based on mother and child health and mortality rate, socioeconomic status, access to clean food and water and their level of education.

At the bottom of this list is Afghanistan.

In Norway, Australia and Iceland over 80% of all women use some sort of modern birth control, almost every birth is monitored by a health professional like a doctor or a midwife, most women have more than 14 years of education, the average Norwegian woman reaches 83 years of age, and only 1 of every 175 women loose a child in the first 5 years of its life.

While in Afghanistan, only 16% of women use some sort of modern birth control, the average Afghan mother only gets an average of 5 years education, and won’t reach the age of 45. Then there are the children where 1 of every 5 die before the age of 5 and compared to that statistic each mother in Afghanistan will suffer a loss of a child.

Why is the US rated 31 on the list? “We are the wealthiest country in the world, but there are still pockets of our population who are not getting the health care they need,” said Mary Beth Powers, a reproductive health adviser for the U.S.-based Save the Children, which compiled the rankings based on health data from countries and agencies worldwide.

The US maternal mortality rate is so high,1 in 2,100 die because of complications pertaining to birth. More women die during or immediately following childbirth than in any other industrialized nation. Only Albania, the Russian Federation, and Moldova scored lower in this category of industrialized nations.

The US children under 5 years of age, mortality rate is very high, with 8 deaths to every 1000 births, comparable to less developed countries such as Latvia. A child in the U.S. is more than twice as likely to die in the first five years of life as a child in Norway, Greece, Iceland, Finland, Japan, Singapore,  Luxembourg, Slovenia or Sweden.

The US is the country with the fifth lowest preschool enrollment rate. Only 58 percent of American children are enrolled in preschool. The U.S. ranks 5th-lowest in the developed world in early childhood education.

As most mothers know, we have the least generous maternity leave policy of any developed nation.  The U.S. maternity leave policy of 12 weeks of unpaid leave is called “the least generous of all wealthy nations”.  Of all the countries on this list, only one offered women less: Montenegro. In Iceland the maternity leave is 5 months and it is also paid leave. Letting mother and child recover, bond and breastfeed.  Even India has 12 weeks of 100% paid leave.

The US is lagging with regard to the political status of women. Only 17% of congressional seats are held by women, compared to 45 percent in Sweden, one of the countries that made the top ten.

By posting this I hope that someone that knows somebody can make a difference in the lives of both women in the US lives and in the countries that rated the lowest on the list. Woman should have the right to modern birth control with out it costing them anything and they have the right to stay home with their babies with out it being a strain on their finances.  The poor can not afford 12 weeks of no pay while at home with a baby.


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