Gender Equality in Liberia

  • Edit
  • Discuss
  • History
Jump to: navigation, search

Flag of Liberia
Population (in Mil.) 4.19
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 1.73
Sex Ratio (m/f) 1
Life Expectancy Ratio (f/m) 1.033898305
Fertility Rate 5.13
Estimated Earned Income (f/m)
Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (f/m) 19.1
Women in Parliament (in %) 11
Human Development Index 174/187
Social Institutions and Gender Index 62/86
Gender Inequality Index 174/186
Gender Equity Index 109/168
Women’s Economic Opportunity Index /128
Global Gender Gap Index /68
More information on variables

Social Institutions

The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.

The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.

In the 2014 edition of the SIGI, Liberia has very high levels of discrimination against women in social institutions. It has lower discrimination in son bias and higher discrimination in restricted physical integrity. Read the full country profile and access the data here:

The Africa for Women's Rights Campaign


Key facts

  • CEDAW: ratified in 1984
  • CEDAW Protocol: signed in 2004
  • Maputo Protocol: ratified in 2008

The Campaign

On 8 March 2009 the "Africa for Women's Rights" Campaign was launched at the initiative of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in collaboration with fove non-governmental regional organisations: the African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies(ACDHRS), Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WILDAF) and Women and Law in Southern Africa (WLSA). These organisations make up the Steering Committee responsible for the coordination of the Campaign.

The Campaign aims to put an end to discrimination and violence against women in Africa, calling on states to ratify international and regional instruments protecting women's rights, to repeal all discriminatory laws, to adopt laws protecting the rights of women and to take all necessary measures to wensure their effective implementation.

Country Focus: Liberia

Liberia has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) without reservations. However, Liberia has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol to CEDAW.

Despite the ratification of the CEDAW in 1984, it has yet to be incorporated into Liberian law and is not justiciable in Liberian courts. The Coalition of the Campaign remains particularly concerned by the following continued violations of women’s rights in Liberia: the persistence of discriminatory laws; unequal status within the family; violence against women; and limited access to education, employment, decision-making positions and health services.

Read more


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 Liberia, please visit the Women, Business and
the Law Liberia


Progress Assessment of MDG 3: 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 power.

MDG Tracking Index of Liberia-2010

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

Liberia'ratio of girls to boy in primary school is at 0.93 in 2006. For the secondary, the ratio was at 0.84 for the same year and data weren't disponible for tertiary level of education[1]. The Liberian Government estimates that gender parity is likely to be met by 2015.

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

The proportion of women in wage employment in nonagricultural activities in Liberia was 23.6 percent in 1990. This figure increased by only 4 percentage points over a 13 year period to 36 per cent in 2003. Liberia's government sees wage employment in the non-agricultural sector as an effective poverty exit strategy that must be exploited to reduce the incidence of poverty among women[2].

Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament

Liberian women held 12.5% of the seats of the national Parliament in 2007[3].Female representation in Parliament has dramatically increased in Liberia: women represented 5.7% of the national representatives in 1997. This number has more than doubled, in a span of ten years, in spite of the civil war.

In the context of the reconstruction and peacebuilding following the civil war, Liberia created a Minister of Gender and Development,which reflected the government's commitment to ensure gender equality and the empowerment of women. A National Girls's Education Policy is being launched with the help of UN-Liberia to increase the enrollment and retention of girls in public schools.

Liberia's progress towards the MDGs is at 34% according to the MDG Track Global Index for Liberia is 34% which estimates the country to be on track for 2020[4]


  1. UNDP.Government of Liberia. 2008.Liberia's Progress Towards the Millenium Development Goals 2008
  2. UNDP.Government of Liberia. 2008.Liberia's Progress Towards the Millenium Development Goals 2008
  3. MDG Track Monitor.Goal 3.Liberia
  4. MDG Track Global Index.2010.Liberia

Article Information
Wikiprogress Wikichild Wikigender University Wikiprogress.Stat ProgBlog Latin America Network African Network eFrame