Libya - Social development

By law, all employees are entitled to sickness, invalid, disability, death, and maternity benefits and unemployment payments, and all residents are entitled to pensions. These cost of these programs is shared by employers, employees and the government. Survivor benefits are paid to widows, siblings, or sons. Rehabilitation programs are provided for sick and disabled employees to provide them with new employment opportunities. Lump sum grants are provided for maternity, births, and funerals. Profit sharing, free medical care and education, and subsidized food are other social welfare benefits.

Despite a constitutional proclamation providing equality for women, customary Muslim restrictions still apply. Women are granted full legal rights, but few women work outside of the home, and those that do remain in low-paid positions. There is evidence to suggest that younger, urban women are gradually becoming more emancipated. Younger women in urban areas have largely discarded the veil, although in rural areas it is still widely used. Women still must obtain their husband's permission in order to leave the country. Violence against women remains a serious problem and is not discussed publicly.

There have been many reports of continuing human rights violations, including torture. Under Libyan law, persons may be detained incommunicado for unlimited periods, and the government has defended its practice of imprisoning political dissenters. Citizens do not have the right to legal counsel or to fair public trials.

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