South Sudan, Chad named the worst countries to be a girl in Africa

Coronavirus pandemic will reverse fragile gains on gender equality in Africa

South Sudan, Chad and Eritrea are the worst African countries to be a girl, a first index of its kind found on Friday, with researchers warning that the pandemic is affecting girls in school, without work and to keep safe, can withhold. of violence.

The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) ranked 52 African countries based on the rights and well-being of girls. The research institute judged governments based on several factors, including health care, education, and laws and policies that protect girls.

Mauritius, Tunisia, South Africa, Seychelles and Algeria were ranked first in the first ‘Girl-Friendliness Index’, yet a report by the ACPF said the ranking is determined more by political commitment and accountability than by economic prosperity.

The ACPF said that African governments in general had made some progress on the rights of girls, but that most countries had failed, citing issues ranging from malnutrition to early marriage.

The United Nations says 23% of girls on the continent are not in primary school compared to 19% of boys. According to the World Bank, almost four out of ten girls get married before they turn 18.

“Girls across the continent continue to wake up to the daily reality of injustice,” ACPF executive director Joan Nyanyuki said in a statement. A whole generation of girls and young women are failing. ‘

According to the ACPF, by 2050, Africa will house about half a billion girls under the age of 18, who said the failure to invest in young women would result in huge economic losses.

The report finds that international and African regional laws on human rights and children’s rights largely ignore the issues of girls.

Advocates say mental health is a growing concern among young girls in Africa, who are more likely than boys to attempt suicide – driven by factors such as violence and domestic work.

Advocates say the coronavirus pandemic has left girls on the continent more vulnerable to child labor, human trafficking, health care and school dropouts.

“We have slowly abandoned this systemic subordination to girls … COVID-19 has completely reversed it,” said Zemdena Abebe, an adviser to the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), a network of civic organizations , said.

“We all as a society are going to suffer the consequences of this relapse under gender equality,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Central African Republic were the others that performed best on the index, with Cape Verde, Namibia and Egypt ranking the countries with the best rankings.

This material was funded by British aid from the British Government; however, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the British Government.

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