Malawi - Social development

The Ministry of Community Services is responsible for social welfare generally. Pensions systems exists for public employees only. Government hospitals and clinics provides some medical services free to residents. Employers are required to obtain private worker's injury insurance. Worker's compensation is provided for disability and survivor benefits.

The Constitution specifies equal rights for women and minorities, but women face widespread discrimination in the home and in employment opportunities. Spousal abuse is common, and the authorities rarely intervene. Inheritance practices often leave widows without their share of the family's assets. There is a growing recognition of women's rights, however, due in part to the growing number of nongovernmental organizations that promote the rights of women.

Some human rights abuses continued to occur under the democratic government. The use of excessive force and the mistreatment of prisoners is reported. Human rights organizations are free to operate openly and without restrictions.

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