.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}@media all and (max-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{width:auto!important;clear:none!important;float:none!important))You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (December 2019) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 9,088 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Frauen in Osttimor]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Frauen in Osttimor)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Women in East Timor
A pair of East Timorese women performing a traditional dance.
General Statistics
Maternal mortality (per 100,000)300
Women in parliament38.5% (2012)
Women in labour force38.4% (2011)
Gender Inequality Index[1]
Value0.378 (2021)
Rank89th out of 191
Global Gender Gap Index[2]
Value0.730 (2022)
Rank56th out of 146

The East Timorese people mixed racially with Melanesian and Malay genetically.[3] Most of the East Timorese population are Roman Catholic.

East Timorese women usually have between 6 and 7 children on average, and based on a UN study, it was found that among those women that were between ages 20 to 24 almost more than half of them had at least one child, and of those, 60 percent had their first child before they were 19.[4] A lot of the East Timorese women were teen mothers and dropped out of high school due to the responsibilities and pressure from having a child. In 2010 the government finally made a new policy that will focus on getting and keeping young mothers in school. This started with a sex education class and a whole transformation of the junior high school curriculum.

There are many rules women in East Timor follow for precaution to not be victims of sexual abuse such as: not being able to show their bare arms, wear low cut tops, short skirts or bikinis.[5] Timorese women were also not allowed to go outside their living area alone, and if they were single they could not be seen alone with a man that is not related to them. The East Timorese women also are expected to be stay at home mothers and can not inherit or own their property.

Apart from these customary concepts, East Timorese women also confront domestic violence. Rape cases and sexual slavery were allegedly committed by East Timorese pro-integration militias during the September 1999 crisis in East Timor.[6] One of the organizations that promote empowerment and foster gender equality for the women of East Timor is the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).[7] In 2010, a law was passed making domestic violence a public crime, but the practice remained prevalent nevertheless. In a 2009–10 Demographic and Health Survey, 36% of married women reported having experienced physical, psychological or sexual violence from their husband or partner, but only 24% reported discussing this with anyone and only 4% reported seeking help from the police.[8] According to the same survey, 71% of men believe that the wife's neglecting children justifies the husband's beating her, while 72% of women believe that a husband is justified in beating his wife if she goes out without informing him.[9] According to activists in non-governmental organizations such as Asisténsia Legál ba Feto no Labarik, domestic violence is severely under-reported and the punishments are not deterrent: in one case, a man who "stabbed his wife in the back of the head and struck her repeatedly with a block of wood, after an argument about feeding their children" only received a suspended jail sentence of seven months.[10]

Sex trafficking

Main article: Sex trafficking in East Timor

Citizen and foreign women and girls have been victims of sex trafficking in East Timor.[11][12] They are raped and physically and psychologically harmed in brothels, hotels, homes, and other locations throughout the country.[13]


Maria Angelina Lopes Saremento, Vice-President of the National Parliament.

Women are active in East Timorese politics.

See also


  1. ^ "Human Development Report 2021/2022" (PDF). HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORTS. Retrieved 19 December 2022.
  2. ^ "Global Gender Gap Report 2022" (PDF). World Economic Forum. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  3. ^ "East Timor Demographics". www.easttimorgovernment.com. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  4. ^ Hays, Jeffrey. "WOMEN IN EAST TIMOR | Facts and Details". factsanddetails.com. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  5. ^ Hays, Jeffrey. "WOMEN IN EAST TIMOR | Facts and Details". factsanddetails.com. Retrieved 2022-03-28.
  6. ^ Women's Situation, East Timor
  7. ^ Crook, Matt. Women Learn the Political Ropes, Rights-East Timor
  9. ^ "Timor-Leste strives to overcome culture of domestic violence". The Guardian. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Domestic violence laws in East Timor failing to protect women, perpetrators often unpunished, NGOs say". ABC News. ABC. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  11. ^ "2019 Trafficking in Persons Report: Timor-Leste". U.S. Department of State. 2019.
  13. ^ "Putting a Face on Pain: Innovative Training to Fight Trafficking in Timor Leste". International Organization for Migration. July 19, 2016.

Further reading