Norway is the world’s best place to be a mother, and eight of the 10 top-ranked countries are in Western Europe. The remaining two are in the southern hemisphere, with Australia ranking second and New Zealand eighth. This year, the United States ranks 31st of 43 developed countries, dropping three spots from last year’s rankings.
Meanwhile, eight of the world’s 10 worst countries to be a mother are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The world’s toughest place to be a mother is Afghanistan, where two of every five children are malnourished and one in five will die before their fifth birthday. Afghan women have less than five years of schooling on average, and female life expectancy is only 45. Compare that to Norway, where one in 333 children die before age five and women typically complete 18 years of school and live to age 83.
The Asian Development Bank and International Labour Organization report that, in Asia, women have suffered the economic downturn disproportionately. Female employees remain vulnerable to job loss, with casual laborers often the first to be fired.
Asia's women have suffered disproportionately in the economic downturn and remain vulnerable to job loss, with casual laborers the first to be fired and young women trailing men in employment opportunities, a report said Friday.
Women are often relegated to the status of secondary household earners, and their limited work opportunities are costing Asia-Pacific countries $47 billion annually in lost income, according to a study by the International Labor Organization and the Asian Development Bank.
The region stands to lose another $30 billion a year because of a gender gap in education at a crucial time when it is leading the global economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, the report said.
As regional economies rebound, conditions have improved for Asia's 734 million female workers but not enough to level the field in the labor market, the report said. Women were the hardest hit by the crisis because female casual workers, seen as a buffer work force, were often the first to lose their jobs.
Among other findings: -- Women comprise 70 to 90 percent of the workers in labor-intensive factories in export processing zones but are usually paid 10 to 30 percent less than men. -- Asian women also account for more than half of workers in health care, education, finance, hotels and restaurants, but generally do not hold senior managerial positions in any of those fields. -- Forty-five percent of Asian women of working age were inactive or outside the labor force, compared to 19 percent of Asian men.”
Asian Development Bank/International Labour Organization
Ms.: After four years, the U.N. has created a new office to be called the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which will begin operating officially in January 2011. UN Women consolidates four formerly separate entities within the UN that work for the advancement of women. The new organization will have two charges: the first is to assist intergovernmental bodies in forming policies and global standards and the other is to help Member States uphold the standards set by these bodies, along with providing the support to do so.
"The UN voted unanimously Friday to create a new office on women to be called the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), which will begin operating officially in January 2011. UN Women consolidates four formerly separate entities within the UN that work for the advancement of women: the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI), and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).
Negotiations to form the entity have gone on for four years because of differing opinions between some developed and developing countries, according to the BBC. "
The United States remains one of only seven countries that have not ratified CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). CEDAW is an international agreement on basic human rights for women and the most broadly endorsed human rights treaty within the United Nations, having been ratified by over 90% of UN member states. CEDAW outlines human rights such as the right to live free from violence, the ability to go to school, and access to the political system.