Save the Children has released its annual State of the World’s Mothers report [PDF], showing that New Zealand is the 4th best country in the world to be a mother. This is an improvement from last year, when we ranked 6th. Its a legacy of the Clark government, and its policies around paid parental leave and early childhood education that we do so well on these sorts of indices. But as the Scandinavian countries above us show, we can do better; sadly, the present government just doesn’t seem to regard it as a priority.
So we improve in 2011 over 2010, and this is nothing to do with the present Government, and all to do with the Government that got chucked out in 2008. Sure.
As it happens, if you actually read about the report, most of the factors have little to do with Government. They are:
- Lifetime risk of maternal death (NZ is 32nd)
- % of women using modern contraception (NZ 9th)
- Female life expectancy at birth (NZ 10th)
- Expected years of formal female schooling (NZ 1st)
- Maternity leave length (NZ 38th)
- Maternity leave wages (NZ 1st)
- Ratio of female to male earnings (NZ 8th)
- Participation of women in govt (NZ 9th)
- Under 5 mortality rate (NZ 23rd)
- Pre-primary enrolment ratio (NZ 18th)
- Secondary enrolment ratio (NZ 3rd)
It seems why we are 4th overall is because we are not very low down in any factor.
The worst place to be a mother incidentally is the Niger. Among more developed countries is it Alaania.