New Report Ranks Best and Worst Countries for Mothers and Children
In its annual "Mother's Day Report Card," Save the Children this week released a ranking of the best and worst countries for mothers and children. The report is the eighth annual of its kind compiled by the global humanitarian organization. The report considers, among other factors, the risk of maternal mortality, use of modern contraceptives, the presence of skilled attendants during labor, women's income as compared to men's, education for girls, the percentage of underweight children under five, and the participation of women in government. Sweden is ranked the best place to be a mother and Niger falls last. The United States places 26 of 140 countries. Italy provides the best environment for children; Niger and Afghanistan tie for last place.
Maternal mortality rates are of strong concern in the lowest-tier countries. In Afghanistan, Save the Children found that one in six women dies in childbirth. One in four Afghan children dies before reaching the age of five.
"Investing in the health of mothers everywhere is not just the right thing to do -- it is the smart thing to do," said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children. “When we take care of mothers by ensuring that they have the basic tools they need to improve the quality of life for themselves and their children, we also improve prospects for generations to come."
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .