Although some progress has been made in uplifting women’s lives in Africa, a lot still needs to be done to overcome cultural, economic and health burdens borne by most both young and elderly women on the continent. According to a survey, done by the Department of Education, in the Grade 12 Senior Certification Examination and assessments, girls seem to be doing better at key competency tests. Even though there has been much reform, in rural areas social and cultural patterns, combined with the relatively poor quality of schooling, place girls and their education and development in a disadvantaged position. One major challenge is the unacceptable rate of violence and harassment against girls, who are often still excluded from mathematics and science, and from prestigious leadership positions such as school prefects. Several reasons have been cited for the increase in drop-out rates among girls, namely; poverty, HIV-Aids, and in particular parents’ inability to pay school fees. It has been established that 26% of girls in grade 12 in rural areas school because of marriage, HIV-AIDS, teen pregnancy and other family commitments. Many girls drop out of school before they reach grade 12. Other girls drop-out to head households in cases when the children have been orphaned by HIV-AIDS. Teenage pregnancy is a factor when looking at the school drop-out rates among girls. Many girls in South Africa give birth during their teenage years, girls who are neither economically nor emotionally ready to deal with parents responsibilities. South Africa is cautious about population growth, with an estimate population growth rate of 2.2%. Unwanted teenage pregnancy and orphans are an issue. The seeming failure to help young girls (both urban and rural, although to a large degree rural) deal with their sexuality, leads to high incidence of pregnancies, abortions, STDs, and HIV and AIDS, as well as high maternal and infant mortality.