Women in Seychelles

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A woman in the Seychelles and her fishtrap, during the early part of the 1970s.

Women in Seychelles enjoy the same legal, political, economic, and social rights as men.[1]

Family life[edit]

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[1][2] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most current expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[1] Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[2] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[1] Older women can usually count on financial support from family members living at home or contributions from the earnings of grown children.[1]

Violence against women[edit]

Domestic violence against women was a continuing problem.[2] Police rarely intervened in domestic disputes unless it involved a weapon or major assault.[2] The authorities often dismissed the few cases that reached a prosecutor, or the court gave the perpetrator a light sentence.[2] There was growing societal concern about domestic violence and increased recognition of the need to address it.[2]

Rape, spousal rape, and domestic abuse are criminal offences punishable by a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment.[2] During 2007, the Family Tribunal registered 74 domestic violence complaints.[2] The police registered 56 rape cases and four cases of attempted sexual assault.[2] The Social Affairs Division of the Ministry of Health and Social Development and Women in Action and Solidarity Organization, a local NGO, provided counseling services to rape victims.[2]

Wider society[edit]

Miss Seychelles 2008, Elene Angine

There is no officially sanctioned gender discrimination in employment and women are well represented in business.[2] As of 1994, women formed nearly half of the enrollment at the prestigious Seychelles Polytechnic, the highest level of education on the islands.[1] As of 2007, there were 10 women in the 34-seat National Assembly, seven elected by direct election and three by proportional representation.[2] Following the July 2007 cabinet reshuffle, there were two women in the cabinet.[2]

Prostitution is illegal but remains prevalent.[2] Police generally do not apprehend prostitutes unless their actions involved other crimes.[2]

The law prohibits sexual harassment but is rarely enforced.[2] Inheritance laws do not discriminate against women.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Tartter, Jean R. "Status of Women". Indian Ocean country studies: Seychelles (Helen Chapin Metz, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (August 1994). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Seychelles (2007) Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (March 11, 2008). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.

External links[edit]