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The USA is good at many things: technology, agriculture, fashion, cars, and many others. However, maternity leave is not one of them. Yes, the average american woman does not get paid maternity leave at all and must get back to work soon after childbirth. Talk about something stressful!

There are 196 countries in the world and the USA is one of four which don’t have federal mandate policy giving new parents paid leave.

Great!

As opposed to 192 countries. And amongst those 192 countries, some are obviously better at caring for new parents than others. Some will focus on new mums (cliché) and other will offer paid leave to both parents. Sometimes even an entire year fully paid to raise their baby.

So here are the TOP 5 countries for maternity leave:

1. Denmark & Norway:

-52 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 100%

2. Serbia:

-52 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 100%

3. Sweden:

-68 weeks of maternity leave (at least 60 days for each parent)

-Percentage of wages paid: 80% for 390 days, lump sum for 90 days.

4. Croatia:

-52 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 100% for 26 weeks then lump sum for 26 weeks.

5. United Kingdom:

-52 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 90%

Not bad Europe, not bad.

And here are the WORST 5 countries for maternity leave:

1. Papua New Guinea:

-6 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 0%

2. The United States:

-12 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 0%

3. Swaziland:

-12 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 0%

4. Lesotho

-12 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 0%

5. Tunisia

-4 weeks of maternity leave

-Percentage of wages paid: 50% (first sector), 67% (if covered by the Labor Code), 100 (civil servants)

Unfortunately, as you can see, the US lists amongst the worst countries when it come to maternity leave. For a “developed country”, this is pretty bad. And embarrassing. But we have already been over this!

Let’s hope things will change because we need them to!

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