The family, the village community and the
church are the most important social networks. Social
legislation is still undeveloped.
The income distribution is uneven. While a small
layer has made big money on the new projects for eg
hydropower, large groups have remained poor, especially
in the sparsely populated mountain areas in the east.
One in five residents live below the international
poverty level of the equivalent of $ 1.25 a day, while
nearly two out of three earn less than $ 2 a day. Food
shortages and malnutrition are recurring plagues for
Lesothians. Crime spreads in the wake of poverty.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Lesotho, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
Lesotho has the second highest proportion of
HIV-infected and AIDS sufferers in the world (after
Swaziland). Almost one in four people between the ages
of 15 and 49 carried the virus. HIV spread gained
momentum when miners began to return from South Africa
(see Labor Market). Life expectancy has dropped
significantly as a result of HIV / AIDS, and it is
estimated that 74,000 children are orphans due to the
immunodeficiency disease. The epidemic contributes to
the food shortage as many working-age farmers have
become ill with AIDS or have died. In 2005, the
government decided that toll-free HIV tests would be
offered to all citizens in an attempt to curb the
epidemic. Thousands of healthcare workers have been
dispatched to go door-to-door and hand out tests.
Family and social life
The man is considered to be the head of the family,
while the woman often takes care of agriculture as well
as the household and the children. Polygamy is common
among well-to-do lesbians and gives the man higher
status because it is expensive to have several wives.
Arranged marriages often occur and a bridal gift (bohadi)
is then transferred from the husband's family to the
bride's. On marriage, the bride leaves her family of
origin and is admitted to the groom's family.
In Lesotho, society is divided into clans.
The traditional family patterns described here have
increasingly changed or broken down as tens of thousands
of Lesotho men moved to South Africa to work there.
Families have split and women's role at home has
widened. In some villages in Lesotho, women are several
times more numerous than men.
The situation of women and children
Discrimination against women is prohibited under the
Basic Law, but until 2006 there was a law that said that
a married woman was incapable and was not entitled to
sign an employment contract, make a police report or
turn to the judicial system without her husband's
Although this law is now abolished, Lesotho continues
to be a male-dominated society. Salaried women earn an
average of just over a third as much as their male
counterparts. A system of courts applying traditional
practices violates women's rights (see Political
system). Violence against women is a widespread problem,
as is prostitution and human trafficking, which often
affects women and children.
The HIV / AIDS epidemic has hit hard on children, who
are at risk of being born with HIV. They also run the
risk of becoming orphans at an early age and are forced
to provide for themselves. Child labor is common,
especially in agriculture and livestock care.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
66 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
23.6 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
10.8 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
4.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
71.6 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
42.8 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
8.4 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
$ 86 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
22 percent (2018)