The children’s rights organisation Save the Children has compiled its 2012 Mothers’ Index, which provides an overview of the health, education and economic situation of mothers and children in 165 countries around the world. The Mothers’ Index is made up of a Women’s Index and a Children’s Index, which examine the health, education, economic situation, wage gap, opportunities to participate in politics, etc. The Children’s Index looks at the mortality rate of children under 5 and the proportion of children getting an education.
In the Children’s Index Estonia is in 10th place, which means Estonia made it into the top 10 out of 165 countries. Estonia’s result surpassed that of countries like Finland (19th place), the USA (31st place), and England (16th place). Norway, which achieved first place in both the Women’s Index and Mothers’ Index, also ranked below Estonia on the Children’s Index, although it immediately follows Estonia in 11th place.
In the Mothers’ Index Estonia made it into the top 20 and is ranked in 17th place, scoring better than the United States. Norway was in first place and Nigeria was in last place. In the Women’s Index Estonia is in 18th place.
In Estonia there is a very low occurrence of mortality under the age of 5 (5 deaths in 1000 children), children have the opportunity to get an early start on a long educational path, and mothers are ensured 100% compensated maternity leave. While other countries may provide mothers with higher sums during maternity leave, there are few countries where mothers have the opportunity to stay home with their children for as long as Estonian women do.
In addition to low childhood morality and compensated maternity leave, the percentage of women who regularly use birth control (56%) and the long academic career of Estonian women (on average 17 years) also contributed to Estonia’s high scores. You can view the whole table here.
Source: Estonian Review