Best to be a ‘mamma’ in Norway

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With its lengthy, fully paid maternity leave, heavily subsidized health care services and day care centers, and a host of other support programs, it was perhaps no surprise that Norway tops a list of 165 countries around the world as being the best place to be a mother.

For the third year in a row, Norway scored highest on the ranking by international humanitarian organization Save the Children (Redd Barna). The organization’s report, called “The State of World Mothers 2012,” Norway was joined by two other Nordic countries, Sweden and Iceland, on the winners’ platform.

Nowhere do women have the same privileges as mothers as they do in Norway, according to the report that measured such factors as life expectancy for women and children, access to health care and contraception, pay differences between men and women, education levels and family leave. Norwegian politicians were given the honors for continuing to boost support for mothers, especially those working outside the home.

“I have colleagues around the world who all wish they could give birth in Norway,” Tove Romsaas Wang, secretary general of Save the Children in Norway, told newspaper Dagsavisen on Tuesday. She called the report “living proof that the Norwegian family-, children- and equality policies function well.”

Niger landed in last place on the ranking of how countries provide for mothers, with life expectancy of just 56 years, an average of just four years of education and with only 5 percent of women having access to contraception.

Views and News staff