14 May 2023

South Africa/Violence Prevention: It’s simple yet ground-breaking. Western Cape is implementing “evidence-led parenting”, supporting parents “to build warm, supportive relationships with their children, establish house rules and use positive discipline techniques instead of corporal punishment.” The programme reduces child maltreatment and abuse and improves children’s and parents’ mental health, thus helping to break cycles of violence. The programme is based on close cooperation of an alliance of NGOs (SAPPIN), Department of Social Development social workers as well as researchers and policy makers. It started in 2015 with a Violence Prevention Forum. In 2022, a workshop brought together all the stakeholders to map family strengthening programmes in the province. “This resulted in clear values for family strengthening programmes, the identification of barriers and opportunities for implementation, and a framework to monitor, evaluate and enable ongoing learning. These then led to the guidelines that will be used to assign the funding by the Western Cape Department of Social Development.”

13 May 2023

Mali/Women: In Malian institutions, women are under-represented – despite the 2015 Law 052 which sets a minimum quota of 30% in nominated and elected positions. Women’s share in government is 21%, in the National Transitional Council 29%, in the Independent Electoral Management Authority 27%, in the commission drafting the new constitution 16%, amongst directors of central services 15% and amongst ambassadors 11%. But of late, they are getting “more involved in the social and political arenas”.

Child marriage: UNICEF has published an update to its child marriage publication: Is an end to child marriage within reach? Latest trends and future prospects, 2023 update. While there is progress when looking at the world as a whole, this progress is very uneven: Asia is doing fairly well while there has only been a slight decline in west and central Africa (where prevalence is highest) and no decline in Latin American and the Caribbean.