Norway has been voted as the best country to be a mother in for the third consecutive year, an international Save the Children report says.
“This is proof that Norwegian politics work well within the areas of gender equality, children and families,” Tove R Wang, CEO of Save the Children (Norway) told The Foreigner.
“Having said that, there lies an obligation to being the best. Norway must lead the way internationally to make sure children that receive correct nutrition in their first 1000 days, that there are more health workers and that girls too receive education,” she added.
In its thirteenth annual State of the World’s Mothers report, the organisation compares the well-being of mothers and children in 165 countries to the previous year.
According to the report, while Norway tops the charts among the countries surveyed when it comes to availability of maternal healthcare services, Niger stands at the bottom.
It goes on to say that in Norway, skilled health personnel are present at virtually every birth. However, only one- third of the births are attended to in Niger.
The survey also points out that a girl child in Norway can expect to receive 18 years of formal education and usually lives to be over 83-years-old.
"At the opposite end of the spectrum, in Niger, a typical girl receives only 4 years of education and lives to be only 56."
The top and bottom ranking countries also differ considerably when it comes to use of contraception. Regarding Norway, "Eighty-two percent of women are using some modern method of contraception, and only 1 in 175 is likely to lose a child before his or her fifth birthday."
On the other hand, "Only 5 percent of women are using modern contraception, and 1 child in 7 dies before his or her fifth birthday. At this rate, every mother in Niger is likely to suffer the loss of a child," the report states.
Iceland, Sweden, New Zealand, Denmark and Finland are among the other top-ranking countries that scored high on the parameters of mothers’ and children’s health, educational and economic status.
Moreover, out of the 10 bottom-ranked countries, eight are from sub-Saharan Africa. "Conditions for mothers and their children in the bottom countries are grim. On average, 1 in 30 women will die from pregnancy-related causes. One child in 7 dies before his or her fifth birthday, and more than 1 child in 3 suffers from malnutrition."
Save the Children also states that malnutrition is an underlying cause of death for 2.6 million children each year, and it leaves millions more with lifelong physical and mental impairments.
“We are asking Prime Minister Stoltenberg to continue the good efforts internationally and to make sure women have the tools they need to break the poverty cycles and improve life quality for themselves, their children and coming generations,” Ms Wang said.
Norway also takes first place as the world's best breastfeeding countries, as well as the best country to be a woman in.