There is little provision for social welfare. Old age, disability, sickness and work injury laws cover employees, public officials, and members of production cooperatives. Family allowances are also paid. However, subsistence farmers and agricultural workers are not covered by formal social security systems. The great majority of the population goes without potable water, electricity, basic education, or even minimal health care.
Women have the same legal rights as men, but in practice face discrimination. Male-dominated traditions and customs lead many parents to withdraw their daughters from school. Men are accorded favorable inheritance and property rights. Polygamy is common within the Fang ethnic group. Domestic violence against women is commonplace, and the government does not prosecute perpetrators.
Human rights violations are commonplace. Human rights abuses include incommunicado detention, extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, and searches without warrants.