October 15, 2016
(Newser) – Norway, Slovenia, Israel, Algeria, and Kazakhstan are among 31 countries where it’s better to be a girl than the United States of America, according to the “Opportunity Index” in a new Save the Children report on the welfare of girls worldwide. Denmark was in first place and Niger was at rock bottom at 144th in the report, which based its rankings on issues including education, child marriage, teen pregnancy, maternal deaths, and the number of female representatives in government, reports the BBC. The report warned that around the world, a girl under 15 is married to an older man every seven seconds.
The report’s authors say they tried to provide a snapshot of the situation for girls worldwide, especially their “opportunity to control their own lives and to fulfill their potential.” NBC News reports that the US was in 32nd place because it was held back by factors including relatively high rates of maternal death and teen pregnancy, as well as the makeup of Congress, where just under 20% of the 535 seats are held by women. Save the Children President Carolyn Miles says Hillary Clinton being elected president “would be good for getting attention to policies that benefit women and girls,” although more women would have to be elected across different levels of government to raise the US score.