Gender Equality in Madagascar

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Madagascar
flag_Madagascar.png
Flag of Madagascar
Population (in Mil.) 22.29
Gross Domestic Product (In USD Billions - WB) 9.98
Sex Ratio (m/f) 1
Life Expectancy Ratio (f/m) 1.048387097
Fertility Rate 5.02
Estimated Earned Income (f/m) 0.72
Tertiary Enrolment Ratio (f/m) 3.7
Women in Parliament (in %) 17.5
INDICES
Human Development Index 151/187
Social Institutions and Gender Index 30/86
Gender Inequality Index 151/186
Gender Equity Index 60/168
Women’s Economic Opportunity Index 120/128
Global Gender Gap Index 56/68
More information on variables

Contents

Social Institutions

Formerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 but regained independence in 1960. In early 2009, protests over increasing restrictions on opposition press and activities resulted in a change in political leadership. This has been followed by ongoing political tensions.[1] The World Bank classifies Madagascar as a lower middle income country.[2] Although Madagascar is faring well in terms of achieving parity with respect to primary and secondary school enrolments, continuing discriminatory practices and the high prevalence of violence against women pose obstacles to achieving substantive equality. Madagascar has enshrined equality between men and women in its Constitution.[3]

Madagascar became a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1989 and has also acceded to the Optional Protocol.

In 2011, the Human Development Index for Madagascar was 0.480, placing the country at 151 out of 187 countries.[4] The 2011 Human Development Report did not provide a Gender Inequality Index score for Madagascar.[5] In 2011, the World Economic Forum ranked Madagascar 71 out of 135 countries in its 2011 Global Gender Gap Report, with a score of 0.6797 where 0 represents inequality and 1 represents equality.[6]

Discriminatory Family Code

The Family Code in Madagascar has recently been amended to raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 for both sexes.[7]Previously, the law provided that the minimum age was 14 for women and 17 for men.[8]

Based on 2004 data, the United Nations reports that 33 % of girls between 15 and 19 years of age were married, divorced or widowed.[9] Early pregnancy is also common, with a 2008-2009 Demographic Health Survey finding that 20 % of 15-19 year old married women having had at least one child.[10] Polygamy is prohibited by law in Madagascar, and is punishable by imprisonment.[11] An extremely small portion of marriages are polygamous in Madagascar. In 2008-2009 a Demographic Health Survey found that only 0.4 % of married men had more than one wife.[12] The Family Code states that the father is the head of the family, however both parents have equal parental authority.[13] Further, the law provides that both women and men have reciprocal rights and duties towards their children including when spouses separate, divorce or have marriages annulled.[14]

Inequalities in the family prevail in regard to women’s rights to inherit land and property. Except when an agreement is made between the spouses, widows do not inherit from their spouse. The Malagasy law ranks the surviving spouse – of either sex - as second to last in the inheritance line, with the state as last.[15] With respect to succession, the law provides that co-successors can agree that female successors will receive their part of inheritance in the form of money instead of the immovable and productive assets.[16]


Restricted Physical Integrity

In 2000, the Criminal Code was amended to enhance protection against gender-based violence.[17] The law prohibits rape with a penalty ranging from 5 years to life in prison, depending on various factors. Rapes of children and pregnant women are punishable by hard labour. Spousal rape is not prohibited under the law. The law prohibits domestic violence with two to five years of prison and a fine. Sexual harassment is also against the law.[18]

Despite the existence of legal protections, women’s physical integrity is compromised by the ineffective implementation and enforcement of the law. The 2009 African Women’s Report scored Madagascar on providing protection from rape on the basis of the law, policy commitment, planning, targets, institutional mechanisms, budget, human resources, research, involvement of civil society, information and monitoring and evaluation. The total score for Madagascar across these areas was 2 out of a possible 22. Similarly, on the effectiveness of domestic violence interventions, Madagascar scored 12 out of a possible 22.[19] Sexual violence and domestic violence are reported to be a serious problem in Madagascar.[20] According to the US Department of State, the Morals and Minors Brigade reported receiving 10 to 12 rape-related complaints a day in 2008. With respect to domestic violence, it is estimated that 55 % of women are victims of domestic violence.[21]

A key problem for women’s physical integrity is the widespread nature of attitudes that accept and excuse violence against women. Based on a 2004 Demographic and Health survey, it is estimated that 25 % of women believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife if she neglects her children. Further, 14 % believe that violence is justified in the event that a wife goes out without telling her husband.[22] Female genital mutilation is not reported to be a common practice in Madagascar. [23] Limitations on women’s reproductive rights also infringes upon women’s physical integrity in Madagascar. Abortion is permitted only in the event a woman’s life is at risk. It is not permitted in the event of rape or incest, due to foetal impairment, on request or on social or economic grounds.[24] The 2008-2009 Demographic and Health Survey found that overall 40 % of married women use contraception and 29 % use modern methods of contraception. The use of modern contraception has increased from 5 % in 1992. Despite the increasing use of modern contraceptives, 19 % of married women reported an unmet need for family planning in the 2008-2009 survey.[25]

Son Bias

Gender disaggregated data on child health in Madagascar, reported in the 2009 African Women’s Report does not provide evidence of son preference in relation to the allocation of nutrition to infants.[26] Further, according to the World Economic Forum in 2010, Madagascar has achieved gender parity in primary and secondary school enrolment, indicating no preferential treatment of sons with respect to access to education.[27]

The male/female sex ratio for the total population in 2012 is 0.99.[28] There is no evidence to suggest that Madagascar is a country of concern in relation to missing women.

Restricted Resources and Entitlement

The law in Madagascar upholds women’s rights to ownership and there are no legal restrictions on women’s access to land. Ordinance No. 60-146 of 1960 relating to land ownership gives men and women equal rights to become landowners. However, in practice, land acquisition is strongly dependent on customs which can, in some cases infringe upon women’s rights, particularly in the south of the country. Such rights denial occurs in the cases of inheritance and sharing among spouses, and is all the more frequent given that most couples are married under the customary practices rather than common law.[29]

The law guarantees women’s access to property other than land. They can manage their own property without their husband’s agreement, whether it was acquired before or during the marriage. Under the law, both spouses have equal access to property acquired during the marriage, equal rights in jointly managing any property and equal rights to dispose of the property.[30]

Women in Madagascar have access to bank loans without their husband’s permission. It is reported that financial institutions have now eliminated requirements of requiring collateral in the form of immovable assets. Further, there has been the expansion of credit lines specifically targeted to women. However, illiteracy continues to pose a barrier for women accessing credit.[31] Data from UNICEF reports the literacy rate of females compared to males as 85 %.[32] With respect to women’s engagement in business, the government reported in 2008 that men predominate in large business while women run smaller or more informal businesses.[33]

Restricted Civil Liberties

There are no reported restrictions on women’s freedom of movement in Madagascar. However, the threat of sexual and domestic violence as described in the Physical Integrity section poses a barrier to women’s safety more generally. The US Department of State reports that the government in does not respect press freedom and the right to association.[34] There is no available information on the gender impact of such restrictions. With respect to women’s participation in political life, the World Economic Forum reports that women make up only 9 % of Madagascar’s parliamentarians and 17 % of Ministerial positions.[35] The most recent elections were held in 2007. [36] The Labour Code of Madagascar provides women the equal right to work and the right to equal pay for work of equal value.[37] Madagascar also has protections against pregnancy or marital status discrimination in the workplace.[38] In 2003, the country introduced legislation providing three months paid maternity leave and 15 days paternity leave. Maternity leave is paid at 100 % of wages.[39]

References

  1. Central Intelligence Agency (2010) The World Fact Book: Madagascar, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ma.html, accessed 20 November 2010.
  2. World Bank (n.d.) Online data: Madagascar, available at http://data.worldbank.org/country/madagascar, accessed at 20 November 20
  3. Articles 8, 21, 27 and 28, Constitution of Madagascar 1992.
  4. 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. p.129
  5. 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. p.141
  6. 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.p.11
  7. United Nations General Assembly (2009) Human Rights Council, Working Group on Universal Periodic Review, National Report Submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1: Madagascar, A/HRC/WG.6/7/MDG/1, Geneva. p.6
  8. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Fifth periodic report of States parties, Madagascar, CEDAW/C/MDG/5, Geneva. p.36
  9. 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.
  10. Demographic Health Survey (n.d.) Madagascar – online data, available at http://www.statcompiler.com/index.cfm, accessed 20 November 2010.)
  11. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1994) Concluding Observations: Madagascar, A/49/38, New York. para.225
  12. Demographic Health Survey (n.d.) Madagascar – online data, available at http://www.statcompiler.com/index.cfm, accessed 20 November 2010.
  13. Noroarisoa, R. (2009) Southern African Development Community Gender Protocol Baseline Study: Madagascar, available at http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/sadc-gender-protocol-barometer-baseline-study-madagascar-2009-10-16, accessed 20 November 2010.pp.12-13
  14. Noroarisoa, R. (2009) Southern African Development Community Gender Protocol Baseline Study: Madagascar, available at http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/sadc-gender-protocol-barometer-baseline-study-madagascar-2009-10-16, accessed 20 November 2010.p.16
  15. Noroarisoa, R. (2009) Southern African Development Community Gender Protocol Baseline Study: Madagascar, available at http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/sadc-gender-protocol-barometer-baseline-study-madagascar-2009-10-16, accessed 20 November 2010.p.17
  16. Noroarisoa, R. (2009) Southern African Development Community Gender Protocol Baseline Study: Madagascar, available at http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/sadc-gender-protocol-barometer-baseline-study-madagascar-2009-10-16, accessed 20 November 2010.p.14
  17. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Fifth periodic report of States parties, Madagascar, CEDAW/C/MDG/5, Geneva. pp.42-43
  18. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Madagascar, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135962.htm, accessed 20 November 2010.
  19. Economic Commission of Africa (2009) African Women’s Report 2009, Measuring Gender Inequality in Africa: Experiences and Lessons from the African Gender and Development Index, available at www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/awr/AWR09_FIN.pdf, pp.66-68
  20. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Madagascar, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135962.htm, accessed 20 November 2010.
  21. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Madagascar, Available at http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/af/135962.htm, accessed 20 November 2010.
  22. Demographic Health Survey (n.d.) Madagascar – online data, available at http://www.statcompiler.com/index.cfm, accessed 20 November 2010.
  23. Inter-Parliamentary Union (n.d.) Parliamentary Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women, Female Genital Mutilation, Legislation and other national provisions, available at http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/fgm-prov-c.htm, accessed 1 November 2010,
  24. 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.
  25. Demographic Health Survey (n.d.) Madagascar – online data, available at http://www.statcompiler.com/index.cfm, accessed 20 November 2010.
  26. Economic Commission of Africa (2009) African Women’s Report 2009, Measuring Gender Inequality in Africa: Experiences and Lessons from the African Gender and Development Index, available at www.uneca.org/eca_resources/publications/books/awr/AWR09_FIN.pdf, p.102
  27. World Economic Forum (2010) Global Gender Gap Report 2010, Available at http://www.weforum.org/pdf/gendergap/report2010.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.200
  28. Central Intelligence Agency (2012) The World Fact Book: Sex Ratio, available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html, accessed 9 March 2012.
  29. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Fifth periodic report of States parties, Madagascar, CEDAW/C/MDG/5, Geneva. p.77; Noroarisoa, R. (2009) Southern African Development Community Gender Protocol Baseline Study: Madagascar, available at http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/sadc-gender-protocol-barometer-baseline-study-madagascar-2009-10-16, accessed 20 November 2010.p.37
  30. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Fifth periodic report of States parties, Madagascar, CEDAW/C/MDG/5, Geneva. pp.80-81
  31. Noroarisoa, R. (2009) Southern African Development Community Gender Protocol Baseline Study: Madagascar, available at http://www.genderlinks.org.za/article/sadc-gender-protocol-barometer-baseline-study-madagascar-2009-10-16, accessed 20 November 2010.p.36-37
  32. UNICEF (2009) State of the World’s Children – online data, Available at http://www.unicef.org/sowc09/statistics/statistics.php, accessed 1 November 2010.
  33. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Fifth periodic report of States parties, Madagascar, CEDAW/C/MDG/5, Geneva.p.39
  34. US State Department (2010) 2009 Country Reports on Human Rights
  35. World Economic Forum (2010) Global Gender Gap Report 2010, Available at http://www.weforum.org/pdf/gendergap/report2010.pdf, accessed 20 October 2010.p.200
  36. Inter-Parliamentary Union (2010) Parline Database: Madagascar, available at http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm, accessed 1 November 2010.
  37. Inter-Parliamentary Union (2010) Parline Database: Madagascar, available at http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/classif.htm, accessed 1 November 2010.p.38
  38. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Fifth periodic report of States parties, Madagascar, CEDAW/C/MDG/5, Geneva. p.71
  39. United Nations Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (2008) Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 18 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Fifth periodic report of States parties, Madagascar, CEDAW/C/MDG/5, Geneva. p.71

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 Madagascar, please visit the Women, Business and
the Law Madagascar
page.

Sources


The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database

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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:

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

Sources

Related Categories

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