Women occupy a subservient position in this extremely traditional society but retain some strength from the matrilineal social structure. Although women do not have the same legal protection as men, traditional custom grants women favorable inheritance and property rights. There are few women in management positions in the private sector or in government. Violence against women occurs, but is not a widespread problem. Some poor families are forced to send children to live in other households, where they work as domestic servants, often at ages as young as seven years old.
Prisons are overcrowded and lack proper sanitation but have been visited by international monitors. Societal discrimination against Christians persists. Human right abuses and political violence have been reported.