Save the Children has released its annual State of the World's Mothers report and once again it's not a particularly impressive showing for the world's wealthiest country. The United States comes in 25th place, just behind the dictatorship of Belarus, thanks to alarming rates of pregnancy-related deaths and the low number of children enrolled in preschools.
Here's a look at how moms in some of the top 24 live.
Save the Children ranking: 1
Norway -- a perennial chart-topper on global well-being lists -- is extraordinarily generous to new parents. After the birth of a child, both parents are entitled to two weeks of paid leave. After that, they have the option of either another 46 weeks off at full pay or 56 weeks at 80 percent of normal wages -- to be divided between the parents. To make sure that dad pitches in, the government requires that at least 10 of the weeks be taken by the father. Before the law was passed, only 3 percent of Norwegian fathers took any paternity leave. Now, 90 percent take at least 12 weeks, and it's not unusual for even government ministers to take several months off to help during a child's first year.
The government even gives a special grant to families who choose to have one parent stay home with a child until age two. Should they choose to go back to work, a 37.5-hour workweek and five weeks of guaranteed vacation take a bit of the pressure out of being a working mom. Norway's fertility rates have diminished somewhat in recent years but are still among the highest in Europe.
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