Responding to the Plight of Women and Girls in Africa

Theme:
  • Children and the Law
Pages: 7
Year of Publication: 2004
Country: Africa

Today half-way between 1990 and 2015 when certain Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) were supposed to be achieved – such as reduction of hunger and poverty by half; child mortality by two-thirds, and maternal mortality by three-quarters, we see instead rampant poverty and degradation. One out of two (50%) sub-Saharan women can neither read nor write. One out of two (50%) girls are not even in primary school. One out of 100 women die in giving birth.

If that is not shocking enough I can drive home the point by making some comparisons: In Sri Lanka, which 40 years ago had the same income level as our region, one in 1,666 women die in giving birth: in Sweden 1 in 20,000.) Are we living in the 21st Century – or what? We sometimes grandiosely talk about “bridging Africa’s ‘digital divide”. Yes, indeed, but let us start with bridging the “death divide” – and bridging the “life expectancy” divide. Did you realize that everywhere in the sub-Saharan region life expectancy if falling? If the positive trends of the 1960s and 1970s had been maintained, life expectancy should have been around 55 by now. It is actually 47 – and that life includes seven to eight years spent in disease, injury, or disability.

Language: English
Published by: African Child Policy Forum (ACPF)
Author: Joyce Aluoch
Located in: Publications
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