Russia is one of the top 60 countries in the world in terms of conditions of motherhood, according to a ranking published earlier this week by international advocacy group Save the Children.
Russia ranks 56th out of 179 countries in Save the Children's 2015 Mothers' Index Ranking, which is based on indicators of maternal health, child well-being and the educational, economic and political statuses of women around the world. Russia ranked 62nd out of 178 states last year.
Russia finished ahead of Kazakhstan, China and Turkey but remains behind the United States, Cuba and Libya. The best-performing former Soviet republic is Belarus, ranking 25th.
Russian women are more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than the average industrialized country, the ranking showed. Women in Russia face a one in 2,600 lifetime risk of maternal death, a figure higher than the average of a one in 9,750 risk found in industrialized countries. The death rate of Russian children under five years old is more than 10 per 1,000 live births, which is also greater than the average of four deaths in industrialized countries.
The political status of Russian women, measured in the study by the percentage of parliamentary seats held by women, likely contributed to lowering Russia's rank. With 14.5 percent of State Duma seats occupied by women, female representation in Russian politics is significantly lower than many countries in the ranking and falls below the 19 percent average found in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Norway, Finland and Iceland are the best countries for mothers, according to Save the Children. The countries offering the least favorable conditions for healthy motherhood are Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.