Cuba declared ‘best place to be a mother’

Sunday, May 9, 2010
By: Priscilla Lounds,

Afghanistan is last on list; United States is number 28

Being a mother brings joy as well as challenges. The international charity Save the Children has released its Eleventh Annual Mothers Index of the World’s Best and Worst Places to be a Mother, just in time for Mother’s Day. The index is based on various indicators of women’s and children’s health and well-being, including access to education, jobs and health care for women and children.

In this report, Save the Children rated the United States at number 28 on the list of developed nations, behind Croatia, Latvia, Greece, Portugal and many other countries. Cuba ranked number one on the list of less-developed nations, while Afghanistan came in dead last.

One reason why the United States came in at number 28 on the “Developed Nations” list is because of the high maternal mortality rate—one death for every 4,800 births, as well as minimal maternity leave policies. Women in the United States can be expected to complete 16 years of formal education. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. women use modern birth control methods. Infant mortality is eight deaths per 1,000 live births. In reality, the U.S. infant mortality rate is significantly higher in the Black and Latino communities.

Based on the statistics compiled by Save the Children, Afghanistan is the worst place on Earth to be a mother. Women in Afghanistan have on average only five years of education. The life expectancy of an Afghani woman is just 44 years, while only 16 percent of Afghani women use modern contraception. Tragically, one out of four children in Afghanistan will die before his or her fifth birthday. As these data show, women in Afghanistan have not been liberated by the U.S. invasion on their homeland as the establishment media claim.

Cuba, a small island nation, stands at number one among less-developed nations. One hundred percent of Cuban births are attended by a skilled medical professional. Seventy –two percent of Cuban women use modern birth control methods, while the average Cuban woman can expect to complete 19 years of formal education. Infant mortality rates in Cuba are lower than in the United States at only six deaths per 1,000 live births. How can Cuba do this despite more than 50 years of the imperialist blockade and relentless destabilization attempts from the United States? The answer lies with Cuba’s socialized system that provides education and quality health care for all.