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U.S. Not So Great For Moms

U.S. Not So Great For Moms

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the amazing moms out there in Care2-land.  I want to take a moment to tell you how wonderful you all are, and how hard you all work.  Harder than anyone knows, I suspect. 

Especially if you are living in the United States.

Yes, Save the Children has released its annual report on the best countries in the world, and sadly, the U.S. did not crack the top 10.

Or the top 20.

In fact, it barely even made the top 30.

Dragging down the United States among its “developed” counterparts: High rates of maternal mortality (1 in 4,800) and infant mortality (8 per 1,000), low pre-school enrollment (61%) and one of the least generous maternity-leave policies in terms of duration and pay.

“A woman in the Unites States is more than five times as likely as a woman in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece or Italy to die from pregnancy-related causes in her lifetime and her risk of maternal death is nearly 10-fold that of a woman in Ireland,” the report said.

As for infant mortality, “At this rate, a child in the US is more than twice as likely as a child in Finland, Iceland, Sweden or Singapore to die before his or her fifth birthday.”

Also huge factors in our sad, sad mommy-friendly number is our meager maternity leave policies (“Oooh, I can have 12 weeks of leave as long as I don’t mind not getting paid?  Thanks a TON!”), our lack of complete access to contraceptives (thanks, conscience clause!) and our gender based wage gap.

Not mentioned, but something that should also be factored in, is our utter lack of paid sick leave, forcing mothers to take unpaid time off to care for their children when they are ill, or even better, send them off the school or daycare for a bit where they can then infect lots of other children who then get to be sent home ill to parents who have to take unpaid time off to care for them.

To see the full list of rankings, click here.   At least, if nothing else, at #28 we can feel utterly superior to Pakistan.

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95 comments

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12:01PM PDT on Jun 6, 2010

Among modern nations, America is unique in not merely stripping out a legitimate (if inadequate) welfare system, having decided that women and children are not worth the 6% of the fed budget that previously went into AFDC, but we are unique in taking distinctive punitive measures against poor women who have children. We punish women when men decide they just can't deal with the responsibilities of having a family.

In the public arena, even US progressives no longer acknowledge the existence of those who fall below the more fortunate "working poor." For these single moms, who are often faced with doing the impossible (and, oddly, disproportionately manage, anyway), even America's more fortunate women have turned their backs.

If we want to know if America values women and children, the answer is seen in both our social policies and in the apathy Americans show toward these women and children.

3:59PM PDT on May 31, 2010

i don't like quotes of statistics without the exact factors of the study......
although the US is falling behind in many areas just pulling out statistics without all the information behind them can be so misleading.....

12:28AM PDT on May 24, 2010

It certainly can and it should. The Nazis are a real danger, and in this economy with hate and poor education on the rise, they may become more powerful than they were under Hitler, and they will not stop until every nonAryan is dead.

Further, our country could do more to prevent costly fraud which created this economic mess. People have the right to help, but they have to contribute too. Mothers in particular have it extremely hard, paid less, do more, child care, etc. What if the husband (who usually makes more) leaves or dies?

The only answer I've found that makes sense to me is to start a business from home...you set your own hours around your family and you make money for the present and the future. I can show you one, if you ask at my care 2 box.

12:49PM PDT on May 21, 2010

Our beloved USA can do better.

1:10PM PDT on May 17, 2010

To all who consider me a friend or are concerned about world crises:

The American Nazi Party just invited my husband to join. We are Jewish, and if we got an invite, so did everyone else in America. This is absolutely terifying. Please, write to important politcal leaders in your area and explain the dangers of Nazis rising again. Thank you.

12:13AM PDT on May 17, 2010

Who's actually going public about any of this and what are you doing?

11:30AM PDT on May 16, 2010

On one hand, I think men should carry a pregnancy and give birth (has anyone seen the movie Junior?) but, on the other hand, it is that part of our body, the uterus that menstruates and yet holds and delivers life that makes us holy as women. Do we really want a man to have that distinction and detract from our own spark of divinity? I think women should rise up and fight for better laws, and should also protect themselves by owning their own business that does not have huge time demands but generates a very nice income from home so that they can be at home with their children and making money.

8:43PM PDT on May 15, 2010

I have been living in the US ten years now, and I run my own nursery for children from birth on up. The very first thing that struck me was how appalling maternity leave is over here. It is really dreadful and I am truly amazed that no one has done anything about it. America is so far behind other countries it is just amazing to me what the people of this country put up with year after year.

No mother should have to leave her baby at six weeks old and go back to work; it's ridiculous. Come on America, get with the program, grow up for goodness sake! Maybe this report will wake up the powers that be. If it doesn't, may I suggest that all American males be inseminated and carry at least one pregnancy to full term. Then we will see just how fast new laws will be made to give generous leave after giving birth.

12:33PM PDT on May 13, 2010

johan, we women are so lucky to have found a supportive voice in you. Thank you.

11:29PM PDT on May 10, 2010

Yes, it is infuriating that women do not get decent maternity leave.
Is this the lobby that reckons women should not be working?
The rankings may be somewhat confusing with mother's risk/women's risk/children's risk but it is still sad to see that the US only ranks 28th out of 43 More Developed Nations.
Shame on you congressmen.
Somehow, I feel that it is only women that defend women and you very, very seldom see a man writing an article defending women.
Anyway ladies, happy mother's day!!

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