The Republic of Benin has an estimated population estimated of 9.2 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Porto-Novo. Benin has an area of 112,622 sq km (43,484 sq miles). The main languages are French (official), Fon, Ge, Barida, Yoruba, and Dendi.

Formerly known as Dahomey, Benin gained its independence in 1960 from France. Benin is arguably one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Despite the stability, Benin is one of the poorest countries in the world and corruption is widespread.

Although the constitution of Benin grants equal rights to women and men, and prohibits gender discrimination, in practice, discrimination against women still persists. The existence of discriminatory customs due to traditional laws prevails in various spheres of life. Benin has ratified most of the international conventions related to women; however these conventions are rarely enforced.

  • Benin ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples'   Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (The Maputo Protocol) on the 30th of September 2005.
  • The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was ratified by Benin on the 12th of March 1992.
  • Benin has not yet adopted a National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325).
  • There are no current or former UN peacekeeping mandates in Benin.

Source:BBC, AlertNet, CIA, UN, SIGI,

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