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How Africa’s Girls Fare on the Girl-Friendly Index

A new, comprehensive flagship report shows how friendly African governments are towards girls, and the extent to which they meet their legal obligations. As underscored in the Getting Girls Equal report, a detailed report that evaluates the status of girls and the law in Africa, many girls are at risk of sexual exploitation, harmful cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage, and dropping out of school. Girls are exposed to extreme violence and abductions. For instance, abductions of girls and attacks on schools in Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria have led to school closures. As shown in the African Report on Child Wellbeing, girls occupy a unique, vulnerable position in African society. Social norms, practices and attitudes are prejudicial to the life, survival and development of girls. The Girl-Friendliness Index, as provided for in the report, is a rights-based statistical tool and conceptual framework anchored on three pillars of children’s rights: protection, provision and participation. Overall, the countries that score highest as friendly towards girls are Mauritius, Tunisia, South Africa, Seychelles, Algeria, Cabo Verde and Namibia.