The most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of
women in the world.

Latest items for Sierra Leone

June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: MARR-PRACTICE-1, AOM-PRACTICE-1, AOM-LAW-1

"Although the law prohibits marriage of boys and girls under the age of 18, including forced marriage, early and forced child marriage continued to be problems" (Pg 23).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: LO-LAW-1

"The law provides for the same legal status and rights for men and women under family, labor, property, and inheritance laws. Although the Employer and Employee Act identifies 'discrimination as any distinction, exclusion or preference, including based on sex,… which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation,' the law does not mandate equal remuneration for equal work or prohibit discrimination based on gender" (Pg 20). "All women in the Western (Freetown) Area, which is governed by general law, have a statutory right to own property in their own names, but many women in the provinces, which are governed by customary laws...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: ATDW-PRACTICE-1, ATDW-PRACTICE-2

"The law provides that either spouse has the right to acquire property and stipulates that gifts, payments, or dowries upon marriage are nonrefundable, allowing women in unhappy marriages to divorce without being forced to return dowries. Since the law defines 'property' as mutually owned land and because land outside of Freetown is generally communal or family property, however, it was difficult to prove a couple owned the land together and that a widow thus had a right to it" (Pg 20).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: DV-PRACTICE-1, DV-PRACTICE-2

"Domestic violence is an offense, punishable by a fine of up to five million leones ($943) and up to two years in prison. Nevertheless, violent acts against women, especially wife beating and spousal rape, were common and often surrounded by a culture of silence" (Pg 18). "Police were unlikely to intervene in domestic disputes except in cases involving serious injury or death. The SLP used mediation as its primary tool for handling domestic violence. As of November authorities reported police had not received training during the year to address the needs of victims of sexual violence. Don Bosco Fambul operated a hotline and psychosocial services for victims of sexual violence....more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: DV-LAW-1, DV-LAW-2

"Domestic violence is an offense, punishable by a fine of up to five million leones ($943) and up to two years in prison. Nevertheless, violent acts against women, especially wife beating and spousal rape, were common and often surrounded by a culture of silence" (Pg 18).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: AOM-DATA-2

"Forty-four percent of women reported being married by the age of 18, and 18 percent by the age of 15. Prevalence of early marriage was highest in the North. UNICEF supported the government in addressing child marriage issues at the local level through awareness raising and training of communities and stakeholders, and supporting the development of by-laws" (Pg 23).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: LRW-LAW-1, LRW-LAW-2, LRCM-LAW-1

"The law prohibits rape, which is punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment. Rape was common and viewed more as a societal norm than a criminal problem. The law specifically prohibits spousal rape. Cases of rape were greatly underreported, and indictments were rare, especially in rural areas. A reluctance to use the judicial system on the part of both victims and law enforcement, combined with women’s lack of income and economic independence, helped perpetuate violence against women and impunity for offenders. Despite the establishment of family support units and the existence of applicable legislation, reports of rapes, especially involving child victims, steadily increased. NGOs reported a rise in rape and...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: PW-PRACTICE-3

"In rural areas polygyny was widespread" (Pg 20).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: ERBG-LAW-1

"The law provides for the same legal status and rights for men and women under family, labor, property, and inheritance laws. Although the Employer and Employee Act identifies 'discrimination as any distinction, exclusion or preference, including based on sex,… which has the effect of nullifying or impairing equality of opportunity or treatment in employment or occupation,' the law does not mandate equal remuneration for equal work or prohibit discrimination based on gender" (Pg 20).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: LRW-DATA-1

"Between January and November, the Family Support Unit (FSU), a division of the SLP, reported 825 cases of sexual violence against women" (Pg 18).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: DACH-PRACTICE-2

"Women and men generally were free to decide responsibly the timing, number, and spacing of their children, manage their reproductive health and have access to the information and means to do so, free from discrimination, coercion, and violence" (Pg 19).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: MMR-PRACTICE-1, MMR-DATA-1

"According to the UN Population Fund, the maternal mortality rate was approximately 1,100 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, with only 61 percent of births being attended by skilled health professionals between 2006 and 2013. With support from the international donor community, the government continued to implement the free health-care initiative launched in 2010, and the number of women seeking prenatal care and giving birth in medical facilities increased. Nonetheless, the program continued to be plagued with problems delivering drugs and other supplies to rural areas" (Pg 19).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: DACH-DATA-2

"Overall only 35 percent of the demand for contraception was met, with only 14 percent of girls and women ages 15-49 using modern contraception. Most couples who practiced family planning made independent decisions, while some reported other influences and pressures, such as family and religion, were determinant factors in family-planning decisions. Family-planning services, including long-term and permanent methods (intrauterine devices, tubal ligation, contraceptive implants, and injections) and oral contraceptives and male and female condoms, were available. Although the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and NGOs made efforts to meet the demand for family planning services, outreach teams rarely served rural women and families" (Pg 19).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: LBHO-PRACTICE-1

"Cultural and traditional practices in the northern areas of the country prevented women from holding office as paramount chiefs (a parallel system of tribal government operated in each of the 149 chiefdoms)" (Pg 14).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: LRW-PRACTICE-2

"The law prohibits rape, which is punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment. Rape was common and viewed more as a societal norm than a criminal problem. The law specifically prohibits spousal rape. Cases of rape were greatly underreported, and indictments were rare, especially in rural areas. A reluctance to use the judicial system on the part of both victims and law enforcement, combined with women’s lack of income and economic independence, helped perpetuate violence against women and impunity for offenders. Despite the establishment of family support units and the existence of applicable legislation, reports of rapes, especially involving child victims, steadily increased. NGOs reported a rise in rape and...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: CONST-LAW-1

"Although the constitution states that it prohibits discrimination based on race, tribe, gender, place of origin, political opinion, color, and religion, the constitution denies citizenship at birth to persons who are not of “Negro-African descent.” Neither the constitution nor law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, national extraction, citizenship, social origin, age, language, disability, HIV-positive status, or having other communicable diseases. The government did not effectively enforce the prohibition of discrimination based on gender as it affected women and girls, and a number of legal acts and customary laws contravened the constitutional provision. The other prohibitions on discrimination were generally enforced." (Pg 17).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: LBHO-DATA-1, GP-DATA-1, GP-DATA-6

"Of the 124 parliamentarians, 14 were women. As of November women led two of the 24 ministries. Five of the 22 judges on the three highest courts were women" (Pg 14).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: IW-PRACTICE-1

"A woman was frequently perceived to be the property of her husband, to be inherited on his death with his other property" (Pg 20).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: IIP-PRACTICE-2, IIP-LAW-2

"The law criminalizes sexual harassment. It is unlawful to make unwanted sexual advances, repeatedly follow or pursue others against their will, initiate repeated and unwanted communications with others, or engage in any other “menacing” behavior. As of December the FSU reported 15 cases of sexual harassment. No reliable data was available on the prevalence of sexual harassment, but it was thought to be widespread and greatly underreported" (Pg 19).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: DACH-PRACTICE-1, ERBG-PRACTICE-1, ERBG-LAW-2, LO-PRACTICE-1

"Women did not have equal access to education, economic opportunities, health facilities, or social freedoms. In rural areas women performed much of the subsistence farming and had little opportunity for formal education. According to a 2008 government survey, 66 percent of women had never attended school, compared with 50 percent of men. Women also experienced discrimination in access to employment, and it was common for an employer to dismiss a woman if she became pregnant during her first year on the job. The law does not prohibit dismissal of pregnant workers on the basis of pregnancy. Further discrimination occurred in access to credit, equal pay for similar work, and the...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: CRPLB-PRACTICE-1

"According to the UN Population Fund, the maternal mortality rate was approximately 1,100 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, with only 61 percent of births being attended by skilled health professionals between 2006 and 2013. With support from the international donor community, the government continued to implement the free health-care initiative launched in 2010, and the number of women seeking prenatal care and giving birth in medical facilities increased. Nonetheless, the program continued to be plagued with problems delivering drugs and other supplies to rural areas" (Pg 19). "Before the Ebola outbreak in May 2014 and throughout 2015, the proportion of women who gave birth in hospitals and in “peripheral...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: LRW-PRACTICE-1

"The law prohibits rape, which is punishable by up to 15 years’ imprisonment. Rape was common and viewed more as a societal norm than a criminal problem. The law specifically prohibits spousal rape. Cases of rape were greatly underreported, and indictments were rare, especially in rural areas. A reluctance to use the judicial system on the part of both victims and law enforcement, combined with women’s lack of income and economic independence, helped perpetuate violence against women and impunity for offenders. Despite the establishment of family support units and the existence of applicable legislation, reports of rapes, especially involving child victims, steadily increased. NGOs reported a rise in rape and...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: NGOFW-PRACTICE-1

"Government officials often were cooperative and responsive to the views of local and international NGOs and generally acknowledged the problems presented. They often scheduled forums in conjunction with NGOs to discuss such topics as women’s rights and the rights of persons with disabilities" (Pg 16).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: INFIB-PRACTICE-1, INFIB-LAW-1, INFIB-DATA-2

"FGM/C was a problem, with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reporting in 2014 that nine of 10 women and girls had undergone the procedure and 13 percent of girls under age 14 underwent the procedure during 2013. Through the State of Public Health Emergency issued in August 2014 and by-laws issued in 2015 to control the spread of Ebola, the government continued to prohibit the activities of secret societies, including placing a moratorium on practicing FGM/C on women and girls. On August 19, Chief Executive Officer of the National Ebola Response Center Palo Conteh reiterated the ban on secret society activities had not been lifted and anyone violating the ban...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: VOTE-PRACTICE-1, VOTE-LAW-1

"Women have the right to vote, but husbands or other patriarchal figures were known to influence their decisions" (Pg 14).
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: CWC-DATA-2

"According to the UN Population Fund, the maternal mortality rate was approximately 1,100 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, with only 61 percent of births being attended by skilled health professionals between 2006 and 2013. With support from the international donor community, the government continued to implement the free health-care initiative launched in 2010, and the number of women seeking prenatal care and giving birth in medical facilities increased. Nonetheless, the program continued to be plagued with problems delivering drugs and other supplies to rural areas" (Pg 19). "Before the Ebola outbreak in May 2014 and throughout 2015, the proportion of women who gave birth in hospitals and in “peripheral...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: DTCP-LAW-1

"Women faced widespread legal and societal discrimination, particularly in matters of marriage, divorce, property, and inheritance, which are guided by customary law in all areas except the capital. Formal laws apply in customary as well as formal courts, but customary judges had limited or no legal training and often were unaware of formal laws or chose to ignore them. Chiefs sometimes colluded with men to evict women and children forcibly from their homes or subject them to arbitrary detention. In some cases chiefs imposed arbitrary and exorbitant fines, imprisoned women unlawfully in their homes or 'chiefdom jails,' and expelled them from the community. Women’s rights and status under customary law...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: AFE-PRACTICE-1, AFE-DATA-1

"Women did not have equal access to education, economic opportunities, health facilities, or social freedoms. In rural areas women performed much of the subsistence farming and had little opportunity for formal education. According to a 2008 government survey, 66 percent of women had never attended school, compared with 50 percent of men. Women also experienced discrimination in access to employment, and it was common for an employer to dismiss a woman if she became pregnant during her first year on the job. The law does not prohibit dismissal of pregnant workers on the basis of pregnancy. Further discrimination occurred in access to credit, equal pay for similar work, and the...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: DTCP-PRACTICE-1

"Few prisoners had access to adequate medical facilities, and clinics lacked supplies and medical personnel to provide basic services. The Pademba Road Male Correctional Center had a clinic staffed by one doctor. Prisons outside Freetown sent patients to local government hospitals and clinics. Authorities allowed only emergency patients to visit the clinic outside of the assigned schedule. Officials treated female prisoners as outpatients or referred them to local hospitals for special care, but doctors and nurses in these hospitals often refused to treat prisoners or provided inferior care because of the government’s failure to pay medical bills. Sanitation remained poor, with prisons in the municipalities of Freetown, Bo, Kenema, Kono,...more
June 25, 2019, 7:13 a.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: MARR-LAW-3

"Under customary law women’s status in society is equal to that of a minor" (Pg 20).