Niger: Worst Place To Be A Mom, Study Says
Save the Children’s 13th annual report has concluded that Niger is now the worst place in the world (of 165 countries they surveyed) to be a mom. For the past two years, Afghanistan was at the bottom of the list, but now the struggling African country has laid claim to the unfortunate title, most likely due to the country’s current food crisis.
The charity bases their rankings on an annual Mother’s Index, which uses statistics like female and child health and nutrition, prospects for women’s education, economic prosperity of women, and women’s political participation.
Other bottom-of-the-list countries include Afghanistan, Yemen, Guinea-Bissau, and Mali.
High levels of maternal mortality, lack of access to contraception, and poor levels of income in comparison to men’s are also contributing factors in the rankings.
Afghanistan’s higher ranking is due to better healthcare and more girls attending school, according to the agency. Rachel Maranto, Advocacy and Mobilisation senior Manager at Save the Children in Kabul states that:
“More mothers are surviving and fewer children are dying and this is something we need to be celebrating.”
Brendan Cox, Save the Children’s director of policy states that:
“[The report] shows clearly that this crisis of chronic malnutrition has devastating effects on both mothers and their children. We urgently need global leadership on malnutrition that results in key nutrition projects being rolled out for mothers and babies to ensure their health and survival.”
So, what country is rated as number one place to be a mom? The answer is Norway, followed by Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, and Denmark. The UK and the Netherlands are tied for 10th, and the United States comes in at 25th, up six places from last year. The US’s ranking is due in part that maternal death rates are 15 times higher than those in Greece, and infant mortality rates are four times as high as in Iceland.
Unfortunately, the United States comes in last among developed nations and encouraging breastfeeding, as many mothers have resorted to formula milk to feed their babies.