The Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe has an estimated population of 165,400 (UN, 2010). The capital is Sao Tome. Sao Tome and Principe has an area of 1, 001 sq km (386 sq miles). The main language is Portuguese.
Sao Tome and Principe is one of the smallest countries in Africa. It became independent in 1975; however, it was only in late 1980s that the country’s democratic reforms were enacted. Sao Tome and Principe was once a leading cocoa producer, but decreases in the production left the country heavily dependent on foreign aid.
Although the constitution gives equal rights to women and men in politics, access to education, business and governments, women still encounter a widespread societal discrimination. Domestic violence and rape are among the various forms of violence against women. Many women are reluctant to take legal action because traditional customs prohibits them from reporting domestic violence outside the family.