Seychelles: Majority Support Gender Equality, Think Greater Efforts Are Needed

Most citizens report equal opportunity to get a job and own land.

In Seychelles, the principles of gender equality are grounded in the Constitution and the National Gender Policy of 2016 (Southern African Development Community, 2022). Seychelles’ society is generally considered to be matrifocal, with women wielding significant influence at home and in the public sphere (Choppy, 2020). According to the 2022 general census, more than half of Seychellois households are headed by women (Seychelles News Agency, 2022).

While Seychelles has attained 40% representation for women at the management level in the private sector, women hold only 23% of elected positions in the National Assembly, with eight women among the 35 members elected in the 2020 elections (IPU Parline, 2023; World Bank, 2022). The gender wage gap is 19%, and men are more likely than women to secure higher paying jobs (International Labour Organization, 2018).

This dispatch reports on a special survey module included in the Afrobarometer Round 9 (2021/2023) questionnaire to explore Africans’ experiences and perceptions of gender equality in control over assets, hiring, land ownership and political leadership.

In Seychelles, survey data show no disadvantage for women when it comes to educational attainment or financial autonomy. Most Seychellois express support for women’s rights to equality in hiring, land ownership, and political leadership, though a sizeable minority consider it likely that women might suffer criticism or harassment if they run for public office. Most citizens approve of the government’s performance in promoting equal rights and opportunities for women, although many say greater efforts are needed.