ALGERIA, Tunisia and Rwanda are the best African countries for young women to live, according to a new study.
The study, “Every Last Girl”, by the international children’s advocacy group Save the Children, measures countries according to levels of teen pregnancy, rates of child marriage, maternal mortality, secondary school completion and the number of women in government.
It ranks Algeria 31st globally, ahead of the USA, in its “Girls Opportunity Index”, the highest placed African country.
Tunisia is 33rd globally, two places ahead of Japan, and the second highest African nation.
Rwanda, with 64% female representation in its government – the highest in the world – is 49th, and the third best African performer.
However, Niger is at the bottom of the list – together with 19 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
In Niger, for example, according to 2015 figures, 76% of young women were married before they were 18, and one in five adolescent girls gives birth a year on average.
Sweden is ranked the best out of 144 focus countries,
Several high-income countries performed considerably worse than expected, including the UK at number 15, Canada at 19 and New Zealand at 16.
Though it is the world’s largest economy, the US, was ranked 32, behind Algeria and Kazakhstan.
Chad, Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia round out the five lowest-rated nations, alongside Niger.
Only 10% of girls in Niger are still at school by age 16.