Burkina Faso - Social development

A social insurance law provides employed persons with pensions for old age and disability. Spouses of pensioners receive survivor benefits equal to 50% of the insured person's pension. These programs are funded by equal contributions from employers and employees. Medical coverage is limited to maternity benefits, consisting of 100% of regular earnings payable for 14 weeks. A worker's compensation program provides both temporary and permanent disability benefits and medical benefits. Employmentrelated family allowances are also paid to families with children under the age of 14. However, most citizens of Burkina Faso are subsistence farmers and fall outside the scope of the social security system.

The constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, religion or ethnic origin, but does not mention sexual discrimination. Women do not have equal opportunities to education and employment, and they do not have the same property rights as men. Spousal abuse is common and polygyny is legal. Female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation, is still widely practiced. It has been estimated that as much as 70% of the female population has undergone this painful and dangerous procedure. The government is collaborating with nongovernmental organizations to stop this practice. Child abuse remains a widespread problem.

Prison conditions are poor and facilities are overcrowded. Serious human rights violations continue and perpetrators of these abuses are rarely punished.

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