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Report names S Sudan as worst country to be a girl

Author: Jale Richard | Published: Monday, November 23, 2020

Schoolgirls in South Sudan | Credit | Girls Education South Sudan/GESS

South Sudan, Chad and Eritrea are the worst African countries to be a girl, a new report has found.

The African Report on Child Wellbeing 2020 released at the weekend examined how friendly African governments are towards girls.

The African Child Policy Forum ranked 52 African nations based on the rights and wellbeing of girls.

The report provides a comprehensive audit of how African governments are performing in fulfilling their obligations to girls in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.

Both charters mark their 25th and 30th anniversaries respectively this year.

The research institute judged governments on several factors including healthcare, education, and laws and policies that protect girls.

Mauritius, Tunisia, South Africa, Seychelles and Algeria topped the inaugural ‘Girl-Friendliness Index’.

While South Sudan, Chad and Eritrea ranked as the least child-friendly countries.

According to the report, child marriage and malnutrition among girls in Chad and South Sudan are the highest in Africa.

It says education participation among girls at primary and secondary levels remains very low, as more than 80 percent of girls in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Angola, Chad, Liberia, Niger and Mozambique do not have access to secondary education.

“Despite such unfavorable realities for girls, the governments of Chad and South Sudan made the least investment of all the countries surveyed, in the programs and service sectors that benefit girls,” says the report.

The advocates said mental health was also 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.

Another indicator is human trafficking where women and girls account for more than 70 percent of victims.

In 2019, it says, there were 42,517 cases of trafficking in Africa, the highest when compared to other regions of the world.

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