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A dad's request for Mother's Day: Don't make me move to Iceland

May 09, 2012|By Paul Whitefield
  • Women and their children in Niger, which was ranked lowest in Save the Children's State of the World's Mothers Report for 2012.
Women and their children in Niger, which was ranked lowest in Save the Children's… (Evelyn Hockstein / Polaris/For…)

Hey, happy Mother’s Day, U.S. moms! You’re No. 25!

As my colleague Eryn Brown wrote, the aid organization Save the Children released its annual State of the World’s Mothers report Tuesday. And though the United States isn’t Niger, which ranked last in the report, it was found lacking among its industrialized peers.

The United States performs relatively poorly among the 43 developed nations in the rankings because mothers here have a 1 in 2,100 risk of pregnancy-related death — the worst of any industrialized nation, Save the Children said. The United States ranked 41st in child mortality.  Women in the U.S. have relatively low political status, and children here aren’t enrolled in preschool as often as in other countries. The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee working mothers paid leave, the group said.

So dads, I’m just spitballing here, but I’m thinking the dopey card, Internet roses and box of chocolates are not going be to quite enough to overcome that laundry list of shortcomings. (And if you’re one of the truly brave ones who booked dinner and some romance, with a little something from Victoria’s Secret -- fuggedaboutit!)

Now it’s true, as Brown points out, that the United States “climbed six places to 25th, sandwiched between Belarus and the Czech Republic.”

Which is OK if you’re talking about us versus them in Olympic hockey. But I doubt the little homemaker is going to be cheered by you saying “Oh, quit your whining, you’re better off than those Czech moms.  And hey, get me another beer as long as you’re up mopping the kitchen floor, will ya?”

And what do the winners have that U.S. moms don’t? 

Brown writes:

In contrast, highly ranked countries such as Norway, Iceland and Sweden have good healthcare and educational systems and offer women ample access to contraception, maternity benefits and equitable pay.

Oh, that.

The truth is, I’d rather not move to Norway, Iceland or Sweden, all of which are swell places but a tad on the cold side for this SoCal lover.

So I’d like Congress and President Obama to help me out here. How about, for Mother’s Day, we offer all of our moms “good healthcare and educational systems and offer women ample access to contraception, maternity benefits and equitable pay”?

Really, that doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

And I won’t have to move to Iceland.

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