Micronesia, Federated States of - Social development

The extended family and clan system, headed by traditional leaders or chiefs, is retained in varying degrees, especially in the outer islands. Rapid Westernization has resulted in an increasing incidence of juvenile delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, and crime. A wide range of national and state social programs are ameliorating these trends. A social insurance system includes old age, disability, and survivor benefits. Employees contribute 5% of their earnings; employers make a 5% payroll contribution. The basic retirement pension benefit is 16.5% of the first $10,000 and marginal rates beyond that level. Survivor payments totaled 60% of the descendant's pension.

In spite of Constitutional safeguards, sex discrimination and violence against women are serious problems. Women's roles within the family remain essentially the traditional ones. Sexual abuse and domestic violence are increasing. Women, however, face no discrimination in education. There are currently a higher percentage of graduates who are female at all educational levels.

Minorities generally do not face discrimination or prejudice. Non-citizens, however, are prohibited from owning land. Human rights are generally respected.

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