ASTANA – Kazakhstan was recently ranked 30th out of 144 countries in gender equality, according to a new report by the non-profit Save the Children. The ranking places Kazakhstan ahead of countries such as the U.S., Japan, Hungary, Slovakia and Montenegro.
The rating estimates situations in different states of the world that impact the wellbeing of girls. The ratings examine five main factors: child marriage, maternal mortality, adolescent fertility, female representation in parliament or congress and lower-secondary school completion.
It is often assumed that wealthy countries score high in those areas and provide the best conditions for young women, but the Save the Children report changes that perception.
The Guardian’s story “The U.S. Ranks Behind Kazakhstan and Algeria on Opportunity for Girls” and Fortune’s story with a similar headline reflect the unexpectedness of the rating’s results. The Fortune story explains that despite having the planet’s biggest economy, the U.S. suffers from a low representation of women in congress. In the U.S., only 19 percent of congressional seats belong to women.
Sweden is in first place and is followed by Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. The Central African Republic, Chad and Niger are the lowest ranked nations, placing 142nd, 143rd and 144th respectively.
Kazakhstan is ranked between Ireland and Algeria and is also ahead of Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan. The report shows that in the territory of the former Soviet Union, the situation is better only in Belarus and Estonia.
In Kazakhstan, 6.1 percent of adolescents under 18 are married, the birth rate among teens is 28.6 deaths per 1,000 live births and maternal mortality amounts to 12 cases per 10,000 live births.
Only three countries with high incomes have high proportions of female members in parliament: Finland, Sweden and Spain. At that, Rwanda has the highest share of women in parliament at 64 percent and is followed by Bolivia and Cuba.