Amazingly, the United States, a country which most probably be electing its first female president soon, is among the worst countries in which to be a girl.
In the latest report compiled by Save the Children, U.S. was rated 32nd on the 144-country list.
Sweden ranks at the top.
Though the report shows, United States isn’t the only rich country that is not doing enough for its girl population, but it singled out the country in particular.
"There are things where we do not shine on the U.S. side," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of the organization. One major example she pointed to was female representation in national government.
The rankings are based on a series of five factors the organization selected as key predictors of the ability for girls to thrive — rates of early marriage, adolescent fertility, maternal mortality, women in government and lower secondary school completion.
"The Girls' Opportunity Index provides a snapshot of the situation of girls in countries the world over — their opportunity to control their own lives and to fulfill their potential," the report states. "While it is impossible to capture the full range of barriers that are holding girls back in life in a single index, we have sought to identify issues that provide insights into the some of the most extreme violations of girls' rights, which stem from deeply entrenched discriminatory norms as well as from economic and political barriers."
The U.S. was hurt by relatively high rates of teenage pregnancy and maternal mortality compared to other countries in the same income bracket.
“While the USA, the world’s biggest economy, ranks at number 8 in the HDI, it is at position 32 in our index, below Algeria and Kazakhstan. As well as women’s representation in parliament, the USA is let down by relatively high adolescent fertility and maternal mortality rates compared to other countries in its income group. Fourteen women died per 100,000 live births in the USA in 2015; a similar number to Uruguay and Lebanon, and far higher than the three deaths per 100,000 in Poland, Greece and Finland,” the report says.
Women hold 19.4 percent of the 535 seats in Congress, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. In Sweden, by contrast, women make up 44 percent of the lawmakers in parliament, the European Institute for Gender Equality has found.
The report was published to mark the International Day of the Girl.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque