The Republic of South Africa is a larger country at the southernmost tip of Africa. It borders the Atlantic and Indian
oceans to the south, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe to the north, and Mozambique to the east. South Africa has a population
of approximately 49 million people. The literacy rate (defined by those over the age of fifteen who can read and write)
is 86 percent. South Africa is a republic with nine provinces.
Liberties and freedoms assured by their constitution since the fall of Apartheid have created the necessary political
background for true progress within human rights issues. However, poverty and the rise of HIV and AIDS continue to plague
the country. For women in particular, especially those in child-bearing age, HIV continues to be a top threat.
- An estimated 5.5 million people are living with HIV
- Over 2.5 million of the children are orphans due to HIV/AIDS, that number is expected to double by 2015
- South Africa has some of the world’s highest crime rates
- A significant portion of the crimes involve victimization, rape and murder of women and children
- Many schools are plagued by drug use, gang violence and sexual harassment
- A significant portion of the population still live on less than $1.00 per day
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