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Women at Work

Women are generally considered to be the “pillars of family and domestic life” [1], offering little space for women in the formal working economy. However, state-funded programs to improve women’s ability to achieve financial autonomy are promising. The Ministry of Public Administration, Labour and Social Security reported that, by 2019, 24,586 women had been inserted into the formal labour market and a total of 107,312 women had been trained in various professional courses.

However, unemployment rates are high. As of 2020, the unemployment rate amongst women sits at 32.1%, compared to 29.1% of men. Women are still overrepresented in low-paid jobs and women’s participation in the informal economy is high - 79.5% of employed women are employed informally compared to 43.7% of employed men. Although informal work provides access to income, it also means women do not have the right to benefits such as maternal and sick leave, social protection, job instability, and typically experience much lower wages than the national average [2].

In 2017, Angola was reported to have the most significant gender pay gap in the world, ranking 135th out of 135 countries with a gap of 35%. The country has made some progress since then, now ranking 99th globally for economic participation and opportunity [3].

Women in Parliament

Women currently hold 29.6% of parliamentary seats, represent 39% of Central Government roles, 12% of State Secretary roles, 22.2% of Provincial Governors, 19.5% of Vice-Governors, and 25.6% of Municipal Administration leaders.

Violence against women

2015-2016 data revealed that 32% of women had experienced physical violence since the age of 15, 8% had experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives, and 34% of women aged 15-49 and married had, at some point, experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their spouse. Financial abuse in the form of refusing to pay alimony is amongst the most common forms of domestic violence, present in over 80% of recorded cases, followed by physical violence, present in more than 50% of recorded domestic violence cases. In 2020, the MASFAMU provincial offices recorded over 5,000 cases of domestic violence [4].

In 2011, the Angolan Parliament passed a law against Domestic Violence that recognised sexual violence, patrimonial violence, psychological violence, verbal abuse, physical violence, and family abadonment as forms of domestic violence. [5]

Number of People Experiencing Domestic Abuse Each Year:

2019: 41.1% women face intimate partner violence - 32.3% physical, 27.3% emotional, 7.4% sexual [6]

2018: 82.75% of all reported domestic violence cases were against women [7]

2007: 78% of women reported having experienced violence since the age of 15. This would amount to roughly 12,931,737 women. In addition, the study showed that 62% of women living in poor suburbs around Luanda had experienced abuse in the past year [8]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.


Only 8% of women are reported to have access to modern contraceptive methods and only 24% of women have their family planning needs met [9]. Birth rates are high, with the average woman having 5.55 children [10], as are maternal death rates at 248 deaths per 100,000 live births [11]. Education is a major barrier to change, for example research shows that only 34% of women know where to get a HIV test should they need to. [12]


There are notable gender gaps in access to education in Angola. 37% of women have had no access to education and 2015 data showed that only 76 girls graduate from secondary school for every 100 boys. However, there has since been a growth in completion rates for both genders, with girls’ secondary school completion increasing by 25.7% from 2015, as of 2019 [13]. Despite this progress, gender gaps in education and literacy have translated to wide gender gaps in the job market, in particular women’s overrepresentation in the informal economy.

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