Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Botswana ranked among girl-friendly countries in Africa

Although Botswana has been fighting a shadow pandemic of domestic and sexual violence against women and girls, also known as gender-based violence (GBV), the country has been ranked among the most girl-friendly African countries by the African Child Policy Forum (ACPF).

The African Child Policy Forum (ACPF) is an independent, not-for-profit, Pan-African institute of policy research and dialogue on the African child. It was established with the conviction that putting children first on the public agenda is fundamental to the realisation of their rights and wellbeing, and to bringing about lasting social and economic progress in Africa.

With a score of 0.6112, Botswana is ranked 14 out of 52 African countries and is categorised in the ‘friendly’ category. This means Botswana dropped one place since the last African Report on Child Wellbeing in 2018 where Botswana was ranked 13 out of 52 African countries with a score of 0.6176. The 6th edition of The African Report on Child Wellbeing categories 52 African countries into five categories being: most friendly, friendly, fairly friendly, less friendly and least friendly. The forum ranks Mauritius as the most friendly African government towards girls with a score of 0.8109. South Sudan is the least friendly country in Africa towards girls with a score of 0.1590.

“However, most African countries do not yet have the requisite legal framework to deal with online sexual exploitation of children. As a result, perpetrators continue to exploit children online. Nevertheless, there are some good practice African examples of laws criminalising online sexual exploitation, including in Botswana, Ghana and South Africa,” states part of the report.

The “least child-friendly” governments comprise Comoros, Central African Republic, Niger, DRC, Eritrea, Chad and South Sudan. The report states that in these countries, “deprivation of girls is highest and efforts to address it are at their lowest. An overwhelming majority of girls in these countries do not have access to education, health services and/or social protection. Basic vaccination coverage is very low,” states part of the report. Furthermore, the legal and policy framework and the enforcement mechanisms in most of these countries remains inadequate and weak. They also invest the least in education, health and wellbeing, despite the prevalence of multiple deprivations amongst their children.

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