Women in Benin


Women in Benin
Benin baptism3.jpg
A woman in Benin
General Statistics
Maternal mortality (per 100,000)350 (2010)
Women in parliament8.4% (2013)
Women over 25 with secondary education11.2% (2012)
Women in labour force67.5% (2012)
Gender Inequality Index[1]
Value0.614 (2013)
Rank134th out of 152
Global Gender Gap Index[2]
Value0.654 (2018)
Women on motorcycle

The state of the rights of women in Benin has improved markedly since the restoration of democracy and the ratification of the Constitution, and the passage of the Personal and Family Code in 2004, both of which overrode various traditional customs that systematically treated women unequally. Still, inequality and discrimination persist. "Girls from the age of five or so are actively involved in housekeeping, sibling care, and agriculture."[3] Society could think about of a woman's role are a housemaid, caretaker, or babysitter. A woman's role is to be a housemaker and nothing at all, but women have much potential to be more than a housemaker. With laws taking charge of what a woman can be as a career of how they are being useful more in the house than in a men's job position. Moreover, these rules apply to women by their gender that has not changed for a while. And there has been inequality based on being the opposite gender which these rules should immediately change if the society wants to get better to have equality for the female race. Polygamy and forced marriage are illegal but still occur.[4] Enforcement of the law against rape, the punishment for which can be up to five years in prison, is hampered by corruption, ineffective police work, and fear of social stigma. Police incompetence results in most sexual offenses being reduced to misdemeanors. Domestic violence is widespread, with penalties of up to 3 years in prison, but women are reluctant to report cases and authorities are reluctant to intervene in what are generally considered private matters.[5]

Female genital mutilation has been described as “the worst substantial human rights violation in Benin.”[6] About 13 percent of women and girls have been subjected to it (over 70 percent in some regions and tribes), but the law against it is rarely enforced. Prostitution, especially child prostitution, is also common, with the clients often being sex tourists. Sexual harassment is also common, with many female students being abused by their teachers." This is the sacrosanct rule of the strong sex over the weak sex[7]." Society wants to keep the gender roles traditional as men are dominant in their relationship. Since the society wants to keep the social hierarchy of men being at the top of the hierarchy while the women are stuck at the bottom which they want it to keep it that way as long the hierarchy stays the same without changes. These discriminations against women are lowering their confidence to be nothing else than a weak gender of the hierarchy while the male are staying at a superior gender. Women and girls from Benin are struggling to find an opportunity to be an individual and not being a non existing human being. And, one of the disadvantages of being a woman in Benin is lack of individualism which being themselves is against their cultural traditions based on the gender roles they have set up as how women should appropriately behave around in their society.

Although it is a criminal offense punishable by up to two years in prison, enforcement is slack. Local customs which are unfavorable to women no longer have the force of law in Benin, where women enjoy equal rights under the constitution, including in matters related to marriage and inheritance. Still, they experience a great deal of social and employment discrimination owing to traditional attitudes about sex roles,[5] and have a much harder time obtaining credit and when widowed do not have the right to manage their own property.[4] Women in rural areas play subordinate roles and do a great deal of hard labor.[5]These women has been through challenges of being neglected and insulted by their country based on the rules that are created by men. There are still men are continuing to keep having negative comments over women. "Men, in turn, know that they enjoy many advantages which they consider perfectly normal."[8]

Women who have experienced discrimination or abuse which they are keeping their own thoughts in silent until someone can start a change to see how women can be something more than a weak gender but, an opportunity to create a change for them and for the next generation for women empowerment. Women can seek assistance from Women in Law and Development-Benin, the Female Jurists Association of Benin (AFJB), and the Women's Justice and Empowerment Initiative through Care International's Empower Project.[5] A 2012 U.S. report commended Benin for establishing the National Council for the Promotion of Gender Equity and Equality.[9]


  1. ^ "Table 4: Gender Inequality Index". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  2. ^ "The Global Gender Gap Report 2018" (PDF). World Economic Forum. pp. 10–11.
  3. ^ Benin Women in Culture, Business & Travel : A Profile of Beninese Women in the Fabric of Society. World Trade Press. 2010-01-01. p. 1. ISBN 9781607802860.
  4. ^ a b "Human Rights Violations in Benin". ALTERNATIVE REPORT TO THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d "2010 Human Rights Report: Benin". Us Department of State. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  6. ^ "Female mutilation Benin's main human rights problem". Afrol News. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Criminal Abuse of Women and Children: An International Perspective. Taylor & Francis Group. 2009-07-20. pp. 138–146. ISBN 9781420088038.
  8. ^ Benin: Women, Poverty and Discrimination. Women's International Network News. January 1, 1999. p. 47.
  9. ^ "UPR 14th Session – Intervention for Benin". Human Rights.gov. Retrieved January 11, 2013.

External links