Gender Equality in Angola

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Angola
flag_Angola.png
Flag of Angola
Population (in Mil.) 20.82
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 115.33
Sex Ratio (m/f) 1.02
Life Expectancy Ratio (f/m) 1.06
Fertility Rate 5.97
Estimated Earned Income (f/m) 0.63
Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (f/m) 3.7
Women in Parliament (in %) 34.1
INDICES
Human Development Index 148/187
Social Institutions and Gender Index /86
Gender Inequality Index 148/186
Gender Equity Index 79/168
Women’s Economic Opportunity Index /128
Global Gender Gap Index /68
More information on variables

Social Institutions

Angola is still in the process of recovery after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. The twenty-seven year war had left a devastating impact on the socioeconomic conditions of the country.[1] The World Bank classifies Angola as a lower middle income country.[2]

The status of women in Angola has been significantly affected by general poverty, conflict, displacement and the persistence of discriminatory practices based on customary law. The civil war left many women widowed and the sole providers of income for themselves and their families. As a result, women have been forced to take on greater responsibilities in all areas of society, including those traditionally dominated by men.[3] However, the systemic discrimination against women continues to hinder progress towards gender equality.[4]

Article 18 of the Constitution of Angola provides for equal rights for men and women.[5] Angola became a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1986 and the CEDAW Optional Protocol in 2007. In 1997, the Government established the Ministry of Family and Promotion of Women which is the primary government agency responsible for implementing policies to support equal rights for women.[6]

The 2011 Human Development Index for Angola is 0.486 and places the country 148th out of 187 countries with data.[7] There is no Gender-related Development Index for Angola.[8] In 2011, the World Economic Forum ranked Angola 87th out of 135 countries with a score of 0.6624 in its 2011 Global Gender Gap Report.[9]

Discriminatory Family Code

The legal age of marriage in Angola is 18 years for both sexes, however the law allows for girls to be married at the age of 15 and boys at the age of 16 with parental consent.[10] In its 2010 concluding comments, the Committee on the Rights of the Child expressed concern that exceptions for marriage at even a younger age than set in law are obtainable.[11]

Based on data from 1970 (more recent data is unavailable), the United Nations reports that an estimated 36 % of 15 to19 year old women in Angola were married, divorced or widowed.[12] In the absence of recent data on age of marriage, the age of motherhood also is an indicator of the practice of early marriage. Data of the 2006-2007 Angola Malaria Indicator Survey shows that 46 per cent of 18 year olds had at least one live birth. The study found that adolescent motherhood was more common in rural areas, compared to urban areas.[13]

The Angolan Family Code does not permit polygamous marriages. Although there is no prevalence data, reports suggest the practice is common, particularly in rural areas. The Rural Development Institute found that women in polygamous relationships reported that there were fewer marriageable men due to the conflict, leaving them with no option but to enter a polygamous marriage.[14]

The Family Code establishes equality between men and women within the family: both spouses have the same rights and are subject to the same duties. These principles extend to matters of parental authority. The Family Code prescribes that both parents have equal responsibility to support their children, and if children remain with the mother following divorce, the father must pay for maintenance for the children.[15] In practice, the male is generally viewed as the head of the household, although this norm has been challenged with the increasing number of female-headed households and increasing reliance on women’s income in male-headed households.[16]

With respect to inheritance rights, the Family Code provides for the inheritance rights of daughters.[17] However, as a matter of practice under customary law, daughters may not inherit land or inherit a smaller amount than sons. The inheritance rights of widows and divorced women are particularly precarious. Although divorced women or widowers may inherit land, this is commonly only in trust for their children. A study conducted by the Rural Development Institute in 2008 found that only 23 percent of widows use the land left by their deceased husbands.[18]

The loss or displacement of men associated with decades of conflict has led to an increase in female-headed households in Angola.[19] The 2006-2007 Angola Malaria Indicator Survey found that 25 per cent of households were headed by a woman.[20] Although women’s increasing economic role has challenged traditional stereotypes of the role of women in the family, the end result for many women has been a work overload in an effort to combine economic activity and household duties.[21] The African Development Bank reports that female-headed households are subject to discriminatory treatment. For example, female-headed households are allotted smaller areas of land compared to male-headed households.[22] The International Fund for Agricultural Development reports that female-headed households are provided with minimal support from the Government.[23]

Restricted Physical Integrity

There is no specific legislation to protect against gender-based violence in Angola.[24] Rape, including marital rape, is prohibited by the Penal Code and punishable by up to eight years' imprisonment. However, domestic violence and sexual harassment are not illegal.[25]

Although incidents of domestic violence are occasionally prosecuted under rape, assault and battery laws, the weak judicial system, limited resources for investigation and limited access to justice for victims prevents justice being enforced.[26] Violence against women is chronically under-reported.[27]

Violence against women in Angola is common and has been rising since the war ended in 2002. In 2006, local human rights and women’s organisations reported an increase in domestic and sexual violence against women and girls, including violence against girls in the school system.[28] From January 2009 to June 2009, the police commissioner in Luanda estimated that 10 cases of rape occurred daily nationwide.[29] A 2007 US State Department study on domestic violence in the capital, Luanda, found that 78 % of women had experienced some form of violence since the age of 15. The study found that violence was more common in urban areas and was mainly perpetrated by husbands and boyfriends.[30]

Women’s experiences of violence in Angola cannot be separated from the conflict and its ongoing consequences including displacement and poverty. Although there is no data on prevalence, it is reported that many women in Angola were victims of rape and abduction during the war. Changing gender roles, particularly unemployment amongst men, following the war has been associated with an increase in violence against women.[31]

Trafficking for sexual exploitation is a problem both into and out of Angola.[32] Although there is no data on prevalence, it is reported that women from Angola are trafficked for sexual servitude to South Africa and other nearby countries. Women are also trafficking into Angola as forced labour for the diamond mining industry.[33] There is not specific law criminalising trafficking.[34]

There is no data available on the prevalence of female genital mutilation in Angola. Control over timing and spacing of children is also a factor impacting on women’s physical integrity. A 2002 report from IFAD stated that women’s fertility is viewed as an important asset in the family in Angola.[35] Such attitudes may result in women’s reproductive choices being limited by family and social pressure. The World Health Organization reports that abortion is illegal except to save the pregnant woman’s life. It is illegal in cases of rape or incest.[36] The World Economic Forum reported in 2010 (based on 2002 data) that only 6% of married women in Angola use contraceptives.[37]

Son Bias

Gender disaggregated data on rates of infant mortality and early childhood nutrition are not available for Angola.

In its 2005 Millennium Development Goal report, the Angolan Government reported that the primary school net enrolment rates for boys and girls for 2002 were 57 percent and 41 percent, indicating preferential access to education for sons.[38]

The Central Intelligence Agency reports that Angola has a male/female sex ratio for the total population of 1.02.[39]

There is no evidence to suggest that Angola is country of concern in relation to missing women.

Restricted Resources and Entitlements

The 1992 Land Act provides women and men equal land rights. However, in practice, land distribution follows customary practices that tend to disadvantage women.[40] Women’s rights to land differ from region to region and between ethnic groups according to their social structures (patrilineal or matrilineal) and the farming systems introduced during colonial times.[41]

According to the Commercial Code, married women must have the authorization of their husband in order to run businesses. However, the government has reported to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women that it appears the more recent Constitution effectively revokes this provision and gives women the legal right to engage in various kinds of contracts, to own and manage property, and to open bank accounts.[42] The African Development Bank reports that women in Angola particularly struggle in accessing credit, often due to illiteracy or because they do not have assets that lenders require.[43]

Access to property other than land depends, to a large extent, on whether a woman is married, and under which regime the marriage is recognised. The “acquired (estates) community regime” deems goods and financial resources acquired during the marriage as common property, and gives each spouse a limited right to independently administer his or her assets. Under the “estates separation regime”, each spouse can freely administer his or her own assets.[44]

Restricted Civil Liberties

There are no reported legal restrictions on access to public space for women in Angola, but the threat of sexual violence presents a significant barrier to women’s freedom of movement. Freedom House reports that women are often killed or injured by land mines as they search for food and firewood.[45]

Both Freedom House and Human Rights Watch have issued concerns about media freedom in Angola. Although the 2006 Press Law ended state control over television broadcasting, journalists are often pushed into self-censorship through the threat of criminal sanction, intimidation and harassment. There is no data on the gender impact of such restrictions.[46]

Angola’s constitution guarantees freedom of association. However, stakeholders reporting to the Universal Periodic Review in 2010 reported concerns about the inconsistencies and inadequacies of the law for regulating associations.[47] Freedom House reports that the Government has occasionally threatened civil society organisations with closure.[48] The African Development Bank reports that women in Angola have formed associations based on occupations which have had a positive impact in promoting their interests.[49]

With respect to women’s participation in political life, the World Economic Forum reports that women make up 39 per cent of Angola’s parliamentarians are 28 per cent of Ministerial positions.[50]

Women in Angola have equal rights in the labour force under the National Labour Code. Gender discrimination in the workplace is prohibited by law.[51] Women also have the right to 12 weeks maternity leave to be paid at 100 percent of wages.[52]

References

  1. Central Intelligence Agency (2012) The World Fact Book: Angola, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ao.html, accessed 15 March 2012.(2012) World Bank (n.d.) Online data: Angola, available at http://data.worldbank.org/country/angola, accessed at 20 November 2010.
  2. World Bank (n.d.) Online data: Angola, available at http://data.worldbank.org/country/angola, accessed at 20 November 2010.
  3. International Fund for Agricultural Development (2002) A Review of Gender Issues in Support of IFAD’s COSOP Formulation Process and Field Diagnostic Study, Report No. 1328.(2002) pp.2-3
  4. United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (2004a) Report of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Thirtieth Session (12 - 30 January 2004) and Thirty-first Session (6 - 23 July 2004), A/59/38 Available at http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/417672b14.html, accessed 22 October 2010.
  5. Articles 18 and 29 of the Constitution of Angola
  6. African Development Bank (2008) Angola Country Gender Profile, Available at http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2008-210-EN-ANGOLA-COUNTRY-GENDER-PROFILE.PDF, accessed 20 October 2010. p.12
  7. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012. (2011) p.129
  8. United Nations Development Programme (2011) Human Development Report 2011, available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf, accessed 29 February 2012. (2011) p.141
  9. World Economic Forum (2011) The Global Gender Gap Report 2011, available at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2011.pdf, accessed 2 March 2012
  10. United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (2010) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention, Concluding observations: Angola, Available at http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4c44079a2.html, accessed (2010) para. 26
  11. United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (2010) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention, Concluding observations: Angola, Available at http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4c44079a2.html, accessed (2010) para. 26
  12. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2008) World Marriage Data 2008, available at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WMD2008/Main.html, accessed 10 October 2010 (2008)
  13. Demographic and Health Surveys (2007) Malaria Indicator Survey 2006-07, Available athttp://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/MIS2/MIS2.pdf, accessed 19 October 2010.p.22
  14. Rural Development Institute (2008) Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Angola, Available at http://www.rdiland.org/images/publications/RDI_125_Womens_Land_Rights_in_Angola.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.pp.10-11
  15. Rural Development Institute (2008) Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Angola, Available at http://www.rdiland.org/images/publications/RDI_125_Womens_Land_Rights_in_Angola.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.11
  16. United Nations System in Angola (2002) Common Country Assessment, Angola: The Post-War Challenges, Available at http://mirror.undp.org/angola/linkrtf/cca2002.pdf, accessed 19 October 2010. p.16
  17. United Nations System in Angola (2002) Common Country Assessment, Angola: The Post-War Challenges, Available at http://mirror.undp.org/angola/linkrtf/cca2002.pdf, accessed 19 October 2010. p.16
  18. Rural Development Institute (2008) Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Angola, Available at http://www.rdiland.org/images/publications/RDI_125_Womens_Land_Rights_in_Angola.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.12
  19. African Development Bank (2008) Angola Country Gender Profile, Available at http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2008-210-EN-ANGOLA-COUNTRY-GENDER-PROFILE.PDF, accessed 20 October 2010. p.3
  20. Demographic and Health Surveys (2007) Malaria Indicator Survey 2006-07, Available athttp://www.measuredhs.com/pubs/pdf/MIS2/MIS2.pdf, accessed 19 October 2010.p. 10
  21. United Nations System in Angola (2002) Common Country Assessment, Angola: The Post-War Challenges, Available at http://mirror.undp.org/angola/linkrtf/cca2002.pdf, accessed 19 October 2010. p.16; United Nations General Assembly (2010)
  22. African Development Bank (2008) Angola Country Gender Profile, Available at http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2008-210-EN-ANGOLA-COUNTRY-GENDER-PROFILE.PDF, accessed 20 October 2010. p.18
  23. International Fund for Agricultural Development (2002) A Review of Gender Issues in Support of IFAD’s COSOP Formulation Process and Field Diagnostic Study, Report No. 1328.(2002) p.3
  24. United Nations General Assembly (2010) Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Summary of stakeholders' information, Available at http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G09/169/49/PDF/G0916949.pdf?OpenElement, accessed 21 October 2010.
  25. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Angola, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135937.htm, accessed 20 October 2010. (2010)
  26. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Angola, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135937.htm, accessed 20 October 2010.
  27. Human Rights Watch (2007) World Report 2007: Angola, Available at http://www.hrw.org/englishwr2k7/docs/2007/01/11/angola14696.htm, accessed 19 October 2010
  28. Human Rights Watch (2007) World Report 2007: Angola, Available at http://www.hrw.org/englishwr2k7/docs/2007/01/11/angola14696.htm, accessed 19 October 2010
  29. US State Department. 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Angola, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135937.htm, accessed 20 October 2010. (2010)
  30. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Angola, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135937.htm, accessed 20 October 2010. (2010)
  31. United Nations System in Angola (2002) Common Country Assessment, Angola: The Post-War Challenges, Available at http://mirror.undp.org/angola/linkrtf/cca2002.pdf, accessed 19 October 2010. p.iii
  32. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Angola, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135937.htm, accessed 20 October 2010. (2010)
  33. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Angola, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135937.htm, accessed 20 October 2010. (2010)
  34. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (2009) Global Report on Trafficking in Persons: Southern Africa Profile p.120
  35. International Fund for Agricultural Development (2002) A Review of Gender Issues in Support of IFAD’s COSOP Formulation Process and Field Diagnostic Study, Report No. 1328.(2002) p.1
  36. United Nations Population Division (2007) World Abortion Policies 2007, Available at http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/2007_Abortion_Policies_Chart/2007_WallChart.pdf, accessed 13 October 2010.
  37. World Economic Forum (2010) Global Gender Gap Report 2010, Available at http://www.weforum.org/pdf/gendergap/report2010.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.56
  38. Republic of Angola (2005) Angola Millennium Goals Report Summary, Available at http://mirror.undp.org/angola/LinkRtf/MDGANG2005-eng.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.
  39. Central Intelligence Agency (2012) The World Fact Book: Angola, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ao.html, accessed 15 March 2012.(2012)
  40. Rural Development Institute (2008) Women’s Land Rights in Post-Conflict Angola, Available at http://www.rdiland.org/images/publications/RDI_125_Womens_Land_Rights_in_Angola.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.10
  41. African Development Bank (2008) Angola Country Gender Profile, Available at http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2008-210-EN-ANGOLA-COUNTRY-GENDER-PROFILE.PDF, accessed 20 October 2010. p.14
  42. United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (2004b) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of States parties: Angola, CEDAW/C/AGO/4-5, New York p.12
  43. African Development Bank (2008) Angola Country Gender Profile, Available at http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2008-210-EN-ANGOLA-COUNTRY-GENDER-PROFILE.PDF, accessed 20 October 2010. p.19
  44. United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (2004b) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of States parties: Angola, CEDAW/C/AGO/4-5, New York p.55
  45. Freedom House (2010) Freedom in the World: Angola 2010, Available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&country=7769&year=2010, accessed 20 October 2010
  46. Freedom House (2010) Freedom in the World: Angola 2010, Available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&country=7769&year=2010, accessed 20 October 2010
  47. United Nations General Assembly (2010) Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Summary of stakeholders’ information, Available at http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G09/169/49/PDF/G0916949.pdf?OpenElement, accessed 21 October 2010para 36.
  48. Freedom House (2010) Freedom in the World: Angola 2010, Available at http://www.freedomhouse.org/template.cfm?page=22&country=7769&year=2010, accessed 20 October 2010
  49. African Development Bank (2008) Angola Country Gender Profile, Available at http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2008-210-EN-ANGOLA-COUNTRY-GENDER-PROFILE.PDF, accessed 20 October 2010. p.14
  50. World Economic Forum (2010) Global Gender Gap Report 2010, Available at http://www.weforum.org/pdf/gendergap/report2010.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.56
  51. African Development Bank (2008) Angola Country Gender Profile, Available at http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Project-and-Operations/ADB-BD-IF-2008-210-EN-ANGOLA-COUNTRY-GENDER-PROFILE.PDF, accessed 20 October 2010. p.14
  52. World Economic Forum (2010) Global Gender Gap Report 2010, Available at http://www.weforum.org/pdf/gendergap/report2010.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.56

The Women, Business and the Law

Where are laws equal for men and women?  

The Women, Business and the Law report presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women's prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women's economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court.Read more about the methodology.

For detailed information on Angola, please visit the Women, Business and
the Law Angola
page.

The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

FAO logo.jpg

The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to the gender inequalities embedded in those rights. Disparity on land access is one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas, and it jeopardizes, as a consequence, rural food security as well as the wellbeing of individuals and families.

Six categories

The Database offers information on the 6 following Categories:

  • National legal frame
  • International treaties and conventions
  • Customary law 
  • Land tenure and related Institutions
  • Civil society organizations
  • Selected Land Related Statistics

For detailed information on Angola, please visit the report on Angola in the FAO Gender and Land Rights Database.

Progress Assessment towards MDG3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

Millennium Development Goal #3 is divided into three sub-categories, each of them focusing on different areas: education, employment wage and political powe

Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education

With the progress made in MDG2 and a parity index of between 0.95% and 1.05% can be said that there came to be a balance in primary education in Angola. Yet at the level of secondary schooling, particularly in rural areas, there is still much work to be done to raise awareness for the rights of women and their emancipation, so that it can, in future, contribute so much more efficient as a democratization agent and development in Angola.

Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector

Proportion of seats held by women in National Parliament

15% of Seats were held by women in 2007[1]. From UNDP Angola assessment, in terms of proportion of seats held in the Parliament and in decision making, Angola has been considered among the 10 countries with greater participation of women in decision making. In 2010, there is an increasing participation of women in the Parliament (44%) and in Government (33%)United Nations Development Programme Angola.MDG 3.http://mirror.undp.org/angola/Goal3.htm. This marks a steady progress in Angla's society toward the fulfillment of MDG3.

References

  1. MDG Monitor.Angola.http://www.mdgmonitor.org/map.cfm?goal=&indicator=&cd=

Sources

  • Gender and Land Rights Database
  • AFROL, Gender Profiles – Angola, www.afrol.com.
  • CEDAW (2004a), Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of States parties, Angola, CEDAW/C/AGO/4-5.
  • CEDAW (2004b), Summary record of the 655th meeting, CEDAW/C/SR.655.
  • Ducados, H. (2004), Angolan women in the aftermath of conflict, Conciliation Resources, www.c-r.org/index.php
  • Human Rights Watch, Overview of Human Rights Issues in Angola, www.hrw.org, accessed 9 May 2007.
  • IFAD (2002), Angola – A Review of Gender Issues in Support of IFAD’s COSOP Formulation Process and Field Diagnostic Study, Report No. 1328-AO.
  • OECD (2006), The Gender, Institutions and Development Database www.oecd.org/dev/institutions/GIDdatabase.
  • Women, Business and the Law: Creating economic opportunity for women
  • The Gender Law Library

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