29 November 2021

Corporal punishment in schools: It doesn’t work and it must stop. It doesn’t work first of all because “in a state of panic, the brain is in fight or flight mode and cannot integrate information deeply, let alone allow for intellectual expansion into higher order thinking such as synthesis, creativity or evaluation”. Furthermore, the message sent out by teachers – i.e. role models for students – is that violence is acceptable. In fact, “corporal punishment breaks young people and brutalises them” Research “shows, convincingly, that across gender, race and parenting styles, corporal punishment does not improve behaviour, it makes it worse.”

Botswana: The Appeal Court has ruled that the 2019 landmark ruling which decriminalised gay sex stands. Two sections of the country’s penal code have thus de facto been abolished. The president of the Appeal Court stated that “(t)hose sections have outlived their usefulness, and serve only to incentivise law enforcement agents to become key-hole peepers and intruders into the private space of citizens”.
BBC Africa Live 29 November 2021. 11:03

HIV-Aids, inequality and girls/women: 37 million people live with HIV. 680,000 died from AIDS-related causes in 2020. Of the more than 1.5 million new HIV infections in 2020, 25% were girls/women aged 15 to 24 – they are twice as likely as boys/men of the same age group to live with HIV. Important factors in this heightened risk are power in relationships (especially in age-disparate sexual relationships) which render discussions about sexual health difficult, gender-based violence which often happens inside relationships characterised by female dependency because of economic inequality, and, thirdly, by “lack of knowledge about sexual health, inequitable gender norms around sex, and conservative social norms about adolescent sexual well-being contribut(ing) to poor uptake of sexual and reproductive health services”. To change the high infection rates, it is essential to understand “the social context in which adolescent girls and young women manage and negotiate sex” and to tailor interventions accordingly.

Zambia: From tomorrow Tuesday onwards, the non-vaccinated will only have restricted access to government buildings. In consultation with unions, the government also wants to oblige civil servants to get vaccinated in order to be able to continue working. For arrivals from abroad, a 10-day-quarantine has been decreed.
BBC Africa Live 29 November 2021. 8:10

Niger: More than 5,400 have been infected with cholera across the country this year and 156 have died from it. The Maradi region in the east is the most affected.
BBC Africa Live 29 November 2021. 17:21

28 November 2021

Burkina Faso: Protesters yesterday Saturday in the capital Ouagadougou demanding the President’s resignation erected barricades and burned tyres. Organisers claim that lots were hurt in clashes with security forces – BBC was not able to verify this.