A social welfare service was established in 1950 to coordinate public and private social assistance activities; it occupies itself mainly with casework in the large towns. A system of family allowances for wage earners was instituted in 1956, and workers' compensation has also been introduced. Pensions are set at a rate of 1.33% of average earnings multiplied by the number of years worked. Cash maternity benefits are provided for employed women. These programs cover only those formally employed and exclude subsistence farmers.
Women play a subordinate role in society even though the Constitution prohibits sex discrimination. Domestic abuse occurs frequently and is generally not reported due to the shame it brings upon the family. Women are often forced into marriage, and inheritance practices favor men. Women's advocacy groups are addressing the indiference of authorities to female victims of violent crimes. Female circumcision, also known as female genital mutilation, is illegal, but is still practiced in many areas of the country. The government took action against statutory rape of school girls by teachers, in part to combat low rates of enrollment due to teen pregnancies.
Security forces commit widespread abuses, including killings and arbitrary arrest and detention. Journalists are regularly beaten and harassed. The constitutional right to assemble is restricted by the government.