Status of Women
Women enjoy the same legal, political, economic, and social rights as men. Women form nearly half of the enrollment at the prestigious Seychelles Polytechnic, the highest level of education on the islands. In 1994 two women held cabinet posts-- the minister of foreign affairs, planning, and environment and the minister of agriculture and marine resources--and women filled other major positions. In the early 1990s, many SPPF branch leaders were women, although in government as a whole women were underrepresented. According to the Department of State's Human Rights Report for 1993, "The Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary union cited Seychelles as having the world's highest percentage of female representation in its parliament (at 45.8 percent of the total delegates."
Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most current expenditures and looking after the interests of the children. Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral. Older women can usually count on financial support from family members living at home or contributions from the earnings of grown children.
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