Norway best in the world for mums: report

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Getting the good news: Tove R Wang of Save the Children Norway and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg (Photo: Terje Bendiksby/Scanpix)
09:39 CEST+02:00
For the third year running, Norway has been named the best country in the world to be a mother.

The State of the World’s Mothers report, published for the 13th time by Save the Children, puts Norway at the top of a list of 165 countries.

”This shows that Norway’s policies for equality, children and the family work in practice,” said Tove R Wang, head of Save the Children Norway.

”But being the best brings its own responsibilities. Norway must now take the lead in the work to break the circle of poverty in the countries that are faring worst,”

Niger replaced Afghanistan as the worst place in the world to be a mother.

In Niger, a newborn baby girl will likely get four years of education and will have a life  expectancy of 56 years. A Norwegian girl, by contrast, will get 18 years of education and can expect to live to the age of 83.

In addition to education and life expectancy, the study also ranked countries in terms of factors such as the number of health staff in place when a child is born, the number of women using contraception, rules for maternity leave, and the number of children who die before they have turned five. In Niger, one in every seven children dies before the age of five.

”It’s good news that we top this ranking for the third year in a row, but it’s also important to keep a focus on the countries at the bottom of these statistics, ” said Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

”We will continue the work we are doing to improve the health of children and mothers in these countries.”

The Nordic region as a whole is well represented on the list, with Norway followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark and Finland.

According to Save the Children, Norway also tops the global breast feeding charts and is the best country in the world to be a woman.

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The United States ranks as the 25th best place to be a mother.

“While the US has moved up in the rankings, ahead of last year’s 31st place, we still fall below most wealthy nations,” said Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children.

“A woman in the US is more than 7 times as likely to die of a pregnancy-related cause in her lifetime than a woman in Italy or Ireland. When it comes to the number of children enrolled in preschools or the political status of women, the United States also places in the bottom 10 countries of the developed world.”

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