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Report: Sweden Is the Best Place for Mothers

I’m Gwen Outen the VOA Special English Development Report.

Sunday was Mother’s Day in the United States. People are supposed to do something special to honor their mom.

But a yearly list of the best and worst places to be a mother and child rates the United States eleventh, behind Britain. Scandinavian countries are at the top. Sweden is number one. Denmark is second. Finland is third.

Save the Children, an American-based humanitarian organization, compared conditions in one hundred ten countries. The report came out last week.

At the bottom of the list, Mali and Burkina Faso share last place. Just above them are Ethiopia, Chad, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mauritania. Gambia and Eritrea are also in the bottom ten, along with two Asian countries: Nepal and Cambodia. Cambodia is tied with Eritrea in one hundredth place.

Save the Children based its report on six conditions related to the health and security of women. These include the risk of early death, and the rate of use of modern birth-control methods. Another measure was the percentage of births with the aid of trained medical workers. Still another was the percentage of pregnant women with a shortage of iron in the blood.

The study also examined reading levels among women and the involvement of women in national government. Four other conditions related to the health and education of children.

Save the Children has published a report on the "State of the World's Mothers" for six years now. This year the group included a progress report on education for girls. Researchers examined progress made over the past ten years in seventy-one developing countries.

The report says Bolivia, Kenya, Cameroon and Bangladesh have made the most progress in girls' education. Listed at the bottom are Rwanda, Iraq, Malawi and Eritrea. Worldwide, the report says, fifty-eight million girls are out of school.

Charles MacCormack is head of Save the Children. He says many children in the world are lucky just to survive the first five years of life. But Mister MacCormack calls the situation far from hopeless. He notes that world leaders have agreed on eight goals to reduce poverty, save lives and increase security by two thousand fifteen.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss. Our reports are online at I'm Gwen Outen.