What are the world's best and worst places to be a mother? The 12th annual Mothers' Index analyzes health, education and economic conditions for women and children in 164 countries. This report identifies countries that are lagging behind in the race to save lives. It also shows that effective solutions to this challenge are affordable – even in the world’s poorest countries.
Norway ranks first this year and Afghanistan ranks last. The United States comes in at #31 among the 43 developed countries ranked. Eight of the 10 worst countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa. In Afghanistan, expecting mothers are at least 200 times more likely to die in birth than by a bomb or a bullet.
Currently, the United States spends only one half of 1 percent of the federal budget on poverty-focused development and humanitarian programs. The report finds that of the 15 countries who receive the most U.S. development assistance, 14 have achieved reductions in child mortality ranging from 20 to 77 percent since 1990. Leaders from academia, politics, religion, business and the arts explore in essays the many reasons why the United States must continue to invest in lifesaving maternal and child health programs. Actress Jennifer Garner advocates that all the world’s mothers should have access to basic health services that could prevent the vast majority of 350,000 maternal deaths each year. U.S. investment in basic health care for the world’s mothers and children will impact everything from the future of national security, to economic growth for American businesses in developing countries, and even the environment.
For a deeper look into the lives of the mothers around the globe, Save the Children has partnered with independent non-profit broadcaster LinkTV on a new half-hour documentary that draws from the State of the World’s Mothers report. ViewChange: The Mothers Index can be viewed at www.ViewChange.org starting May 3 and will be broadcast on Link TV May 6 and May 10.
Download the full report here.
Download the complete Mother's Index here.
Explore the report’s stats and facts here.
Read essays by prominent contributors here.