Sweden ‘best country to be a mother’

Sweden is the best country in the world to be a mother, according to a new report from Save the Children.

Swedish sex equality and parental leave contributed to making the country the best place for mothers. Working mothers in Sweden earn 81 percent of male earnings, something which Save the Children rated as important.

Sweden’s generous provisions for parental leave worked in its favour as did the fact that it has one of the lowest maternal and under-5 mortality rates.

Other factors in Sweden’s favour were that it had the highest percentage of women in the national government, at 47 percent compared to 16 percent in the United States.

The survey contrasts the good situation of mothers in Sweden with the situation in many developing countries. 72 percent of Swedish women used modern contraception. In Cote d’Ivoire, that figure was only 7 percent.

Female life expectancy at birth in Sweden is 83, in Cameroon it is 46. Under-5 mortality in Sweden was 4 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 18 in Russia and 195 in Cote d’Ivoire. A girl in Sweden is expected to attend school for 17 years; in Niger a girl will typically attend classes for less than 3.5 years.