Author: Van den Berg et al.
Full Citation: Van den Berg, W., Manyati, T., Le Mottee, S. & Thomson-de Boor, H. (2016). A comparative scorecard on policy support for positive parenting in Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Cape Town, South Africa: Sonke Gender Justice.
Overview: Positive parenting can change circumstances dramatically for children, especially when mothers and fathers are fully engaged. In this report we define positive parenting as a nonviolent and proactive approach to parenting that promotes gender equality between parents. However, positive parenting programmes and policies in Eastern and Southern Africa are mostly undeveloped or inadequate. This report joins a series of policy scans completed by Sonke and MenEngage Africa that document policy progress towards various aspects of gender justice.
Findings: Although all five countries considered in this review (Ethiopia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe) have policies that address parenting to a certain extent, none of them has a policy or framework that focuses specifically on positive parenting. Policies and laws are an important starting point for changing social values and constructs. Their absence or silence on important issues that relate to positive parenting must be addressed, along with any misguided affirmations of gender stereotypes, patriarchy and harmful practices. Urgent attention must be paid – at both policy framework level and across sectors – to the details in policy framing and programme support that impact on the lives of children, mothers and fathers.