MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
Michael Denne; License CC BY-SA 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lesotho_class.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Lehlohonolo Chefa; License CC BY-SA 4.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Maoa-Mafubelu_Fruits_Farm.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Lesotho has about twice as many people than the country’s natural renewable resources can support. The average woman in Lesotho had four children at the turn of the century and that fertility rate has decreased to a little over three children today. Even with emigration exceeding 10,000 citizens a year the past five years, the country’s high fertility rate is causing its population to increase every year by over 15,000 additional citizens.
Ecosystems have been pushed to their limits by over-cultivation, overgrazing, and over-harvesting, as communities are forced to adopt measures that push the land beyond its capacity. Waste disposal presents a huge challenge in Lesotho. Plastic waste is dumped in many areas, often on empty stream and river banks, from where - even in a landlocked country - it will eventually reach the sea. (1)
The Borgen Project reports equal access to education and employment does not necessarily result in gender equality. In Lesotho, the gender gap in education is in some sense evidence of the lower perceived value of women. Women’s literacy rates and other levels of education are higher than those for men, yet most Basotho women work jobs that have lower status and pay.
Gender-based violence is a serious problem in Lesotho, where females are marginalized, making them susceptible to HIV/AIDS, abuse and rape. In 2011, the rate of sexual assault in Lesotho was among the highest in the world, with 88.6 rape cases per 100,000 female inhabitants. In 2016, Lesotho had one of the highest numbers of new HIV infections worldwide. Illegal marriages are also prevalent, with 19 percent of Basotho females under age 18 being forced into illegal marriages, often with older men. (2)