Gender discrimination in Africa prevents progress

Amnesty International has released its 2012 Regional Overview of Africa.

The report found that the widespread uprising seen in the north of the continent has resonated with people in the sub-Saharan region, but there are significant socioeconomic and cultural barriers preventing a similar spring occurring there.

Poverty remains a major issue, with many countries in Africa still falling short of the UN Millennium Development Goals, while women's health and rights are still adversely affected by institutional discrimination.

Amnesty International revealed that girls and women are still raped in various war-torn countries including Chad, the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.

The charity claims that it is often members of government security forces who are responsible for the sexual violence and thus no criminal investigations are conducted.

In some regions of Africa, this gender discrimination could get worse before the situation improves, states the group.