Angola - Social development



Until recently, social services for Africans were almost entirely the responsibility of the various tribal groups. The Roman Catholic Church also played an integral part in the administration of welfare, health, and educational programs. A number of international nongovernmental organizations have also gotten involved, particularly in the provision of health care.

Although women's rights are protected in the constitution, in practice there is discrimination in the workplace and in the home, and most women hold low-paid jobs. Spousal abuse against women is widespread. Women and children are also at high risk for mutilation from land mines, as a result of their work foraging in the fields for food and firewood. Children have been recruited to fight in both the government and UNITA forces. There were an estimated 5,000 children living on the street in Luanda, including 500–1,000 underage prostitutes. Angola's government has a poor human rights record. Security forces have reportedly been responsible for torture, beatings, rapes, and disappearances and prison conditions are life-threatening.

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