'Mothers' Index' Lists Best Places to Be a Mom

Host Renee Montagne reports on the results of the annual "Mothers' Index," which compares the well-being of mothers and children in 146 countries. The index is released by the U.S. charity Save the Children.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Now we raise a toast to motherhood with a look at the very best place to be a mother. OK. So that place might be your house, but one set of experts have come up with the best and worst worldwide. Save the Children has released its annual Mothers Index. The index compares the well-being of mother's and children in 146 countries.

At the top, Sweden, because of its family friendly laws. Mothers with newborns are guaranteed at least one year of paid leave. Camilla Hillett(ph) is a kindergarten teacher in Stockholm. Her sons are 8, 11, and 15. And with each birth she's taken maternity leave and received 80 percent of her salary.

Ms. CAMILLA HILLETT (Mother, Sweden): We have a lot of opportunities, I think, as a mother. You can choose if you want to be a mother or not. When you are expecting your children you can always get good care and health. This is all free.

MONTAGNE: Even daycare is considered reasonably priced in Sweden, and the government has also made hiring domestic help tax deductible. The Mothers Index ranked being a mother in America at 27.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.