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Hungary in top 3 of maternity leave ranking

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Hungary is among the countries providing the longest government-supported maternity leave in a freshly released study, international news wire Reuters reported.

Using 2016 data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the EU statistics agency Eurostat and research articles, the study ranked 41 high and middle-income countries across the OECD and European Union on their family-friendly practices.

Estonia offered mothers 85 weeks of paid leave, Hungary 72 weeks, and Bulgaria 65, ranking them as the top three. Australia and New Zealand each offered only eight weeks, while the United States offered none, ranking it the worst.

When the data was collected, Estonia’s gross domestic product was just below USD 24 billion, 750 times less than the United States.

“(There is) no relationship between country wealth and family-friendliness of the policies in this particular group of UN-OECD countries,” the report said. “They depend a lot on not just the political priorities of a particular day or a particular government administration, but they really sometimes build on how society views children and women.”