Women in Seychelles
A woman in the Seychelles and her fishtrap, during the early part of the 1970s.
General Statistics
Women in parliament22.86% (2020)[1]
Women in labour force64.29% (2020)[2]

Women in Seychelles enjoy the same legal, political, economic, and social rights as men.[3]

Family life

Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal.[3][4] Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most current expenditures and looking after the interests of the children.[3] Unwed mothers are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children.[4] Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.[3] Older women can usually count on financial support from family members living at home or contributions from the earnings of grown children.[3]

Violence against women

Domestic violence against women was a continuing problem.[4] Police rarely intervened in domestic disputes unless it involved a weapon or major assault.[4] The authorities often dismissed the few cases that reached a prosecutor, or the court gave the perpetrator a light sentence.[4] There was growing societal concern about domestic violence and increased recognition of the need to address it.[4]

Rape, spousal rape, and domestic abuse are criminal offences punishable by a maximum of 20 years' imprisonment.[4] During 2007, the Family Tribunal registered 74 domestic violence complaints.[4] The police registered 56 rape cases and four cases of attempted sexual assault.[4] The Social Affairs Division of the Ministry of Health and Social Development and Women in Action and Solidarity Organization, a local NGO, provided counseling services to rape victims.[4]

Wider society

Miss Seychelles 2008, Elene Angine

There is no officially sanctioned gender discrimination in employment and women are well represented in business.[4] As of 1994, women formed nearly half of the enrollment at the prestigious Seychelles Polytechnic, the highest level of education on the islands.[3] As of 2007, there were 10 women in the 34-seat National Assembly, seven elected by direct election and three by proportional representation.[4] Following the July 2007 cabinet reshuffle, there were two women in the cabinet.[4]

Prostitution is illegal but remains prevalent.[4] Police generally do not apprehend prostitutes unless their actions involved other crimes.[4]

The law prohibits sexual harassment but is rarely enforced.[4] Inheritance laws do not discriminate against women.[4]


  1. ^ "Seychelles". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  2. ^ "Seychelles Labour Force Participation Rate: Female: Aggregate Bands: Total Age". CEIC Data. Retrieved 2023-11-12.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Tartter, Jean R. "Status of Women". Indian Ocean country studies: Seychelles (Helen Chapin Metz, editor). Library of Congress Federal Research Division (August 1994). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Seychelles (2007) Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (March 11, 2008). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.