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 non violent 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.
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. While South Africa has an enabling policy framework with action plans for parenting and families that touches on gender, women’s empowerment and the prevention of violence against women and girls, even the White Paper on Families is silent on positive parenting. Ethiopia has a wide array of relevant issues embedded across its policies, but this is lacking in Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.