The Seychelles are sometimes called a model welfare state. The National Provident Fund was first established in 1971 and was superseded by the Social Security Fund in 1979. Benefits are provided for old age, disability, survivorship, sickness and maternity. Employees and employers are required to make monthly contributions (5% of salary and 10% of payroll, respectively). The Full Employment Scheme of 1980 allows the registered unemployed to work on government-approved projects in order to receive a daily subsistence wage. There is also a workers' compensation scheme. Health services are free for all residents under the National Health Plan.
Traditional Seychelles culture is matriarchal and women are accorded considerable respect within society. However, violence against women, particularly domestic violence, remains a problem, and has been linked to alcohol abuse. Women are fairly well represented in both the public and private sectors.
Human rights are generally respected although there are still arbitrary arrests and detentions. There is some discrimination against foreign workers. Nongovernmental organizations operate freely.