Sierra Leone is one of the world's poorest
and least developed countries, where conditions for a
good life are still limited. Although the economic
development after the civil war has been relatively
good, little has yet been done to benefit the general
population. The Ebola outbreak in 2014–2015 further
aggravated the situation.
The war caused unimaginable suffering to the people.
The conflict claimed tens of thousands of lives. More
than two million people lost their homes and tens of
thousands of body parts were cut off during rebel
attacks. Several studies indicate that more than a
quarter of a million million women and girls are exposed
to some form of sexual violence. Even after the war,
rape has been a major problem. Many people are also
plagued by mental problems and severe trauma, which have
also increased after the Ebola crisis. If the care of
physical ailments is under-dimensioned, then mental
health care is almost non-existent.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Sierra Leone, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
In 2018, Sierra Leone ranked 184 out of 189 countries
according to the UN Development Index, which measures
life expectancy, child mortality, health status, access
to clean drinking water, education level, etc. The
country has climbed a few steps on the list in recent
years but still lives well over half. of the population
in poverty and every day means a hard fight for
survival. The worst is for women and children. According
to the UN Children's Fund Unicef, Sierra Leone 2012 was
the country in the world where most children under five
years died. Maternal mortality was highest in the world
in 2008 After that, efforts have been made to reduce the
numbers, but still approximately 1,360 women per 100,000
births died in 2015.
Teenage pregnancies are common.
Many women die in connection with illegal abortions.
A new abortion law was passed by Parliament in 2015, but
it was not approved by the then President Koroma.
Diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis are
widespread and epidemics of, for example, typhus and the
hemorrhagic disease, lassic fever often occur. In 2012,
a cholera epidemic broke out that claimed several
hundred lives. In 2014, the country was affected by the
contagious disease Ebola and until Sierra Leone could be
declared free of infection in November 2015, more than
14,000 people had been infected, of whom almost 4,000
had died. During the epidemic there were reports of
increased violence against women.
Data on the spread of HIV and AIDS are vague and
contradictory, but around 1.4 percent of the adult
population is expected to live with HIV in 2015. The
spread varies between different social groups, but it is
clear that Sierra Leone is not as severely affected as
the countries in southern Africa..
In September 2017, the government announced that half
a million people would be vaccinated against cholera.
The campaign was funded with money from the vaccination
alliance Gavi. This occurs after the country was hit
hard by the fall and floods in August of the same year.
The Government has invested in improving the health
situation for women and children. Among other things,
the majority of all children under five years of age
have been vaccinated against diseases such as measles.
Already in 2010, children under five, pregnant and
lactating women were given the right to free health
care. The reform, which also included large pay raises
for health care workers, was funded with assistance from
the UN and the United Kingdom but still straining the
Treasury. In a speech at the end of 2015, the then
President Koroma pressed hard for the reform to continue
but in order to do so, continued external assistance is
required. There have also been reports of how drugs that
would have been distributed free of charge instead of
being sold on the open market. There are also suspicions
that some of the money that the government has allocated
to fight Ebola has been wasted.
Women often have prominent places in society in both
business and politics and administration, but they have
to work hard to reach such positions. Women are usually
forced to perform work and take on extra tasks at work
that their male counterparts in the corresponding
position do not have to. In the countryside, men do the
hardest work of plowing the fields and preparing new
cultivated fields, while the women are basically
responsible for the rest: sow and harvest, collect
firewood, collect water, cook, sell fruits and
vegetables in the market, take care of the children and
prepare clothes. A man can, without embarrassment, walk
beside his wife who dignifies under a very wooden log,
without helping, since it is not his job to carry
In Muslim communities and in rural areas, it is often
common for a man to take several wives and raise as many
children as possible. Having many children is a
long-term investment, as there will eventually be more
people who can work and make money for the family, the
daughters can bring in marriage and important alliances
with other families can be created through appropriate
marriage for the children.
Modern laws give women basically the same inheritance
rights as men, but in practice the tradition usually
applies to women being treated as children in this
respect. A woman who loses her husband risks her
husband's brothers taking her home and the possessions
she had in common with her husband. She may also be
subjected to strong pressure to marry a brother-in-law
like his second, third or fourth wife.
In 2007, several laws came into force that strengthen
women's rights. Women's trafficking has become a
criminal offense and women have been granted inheritance
rights to real estate. In addition, a law was introduced
that protects young women from forced marriage. However,
a bill in 2013 that at least 30 percent of the members
of parliament, local councils, ministries etc. would be
women, was rejected by parliament. At the 2012 election,
14 women were elected to Parliament (corresponding to 11
percent of the members), which was fewer than in the
Although the Sexual Offenses Act of 2012 has
increased the penalty for sexual violence, this growing
problem is a major problem. According to police
statistics, the number of reported sexual offenses
increased from just over 4,700 in 2017 to more than
8,500 in 2018. In over 2,500 of the 2018 cases, the
victim was 15 years or younger. According to a domestic
voluntary organization, about 150 women a month become
pregnant after rape. At the end of 2018, the president's
wife Fatima Bio started a new organization "Hands off
our Girls" to fight sexual violence, child trafficking,
child marriage and teenage pregnancies. In 2018, only 26
people were convicted of rape. Lack of resources at the
police, few of the victims have enough money to cope
with a legal process, an ineffective and corrupt
judicial system are some reasons for that. One of the 26
convicted in 2018 was a 56-year-old man who was
sentenced to one year in prison for rape on a
six-year-old girl. This is despite the fact that the law
prescribes imprisonment of between five and 15 years.
Female genital mutilation is permitted from the age
of five. According to the UN Children's Fund Unicef,
80-90 percent of women are sexually abused. During the
Ebola epidemic, a temporary ban on genital mutilation of
women was introduced. Child prostitution is becoming
more and more common.
Homosexual intercourse is prohibited and can be
punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years.
Discrimination against gay, bisexual or transsexual
persons is widespread.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
79 per 1000 births (2018)
Percentage of HIV infected
1.5 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young women
1.1 percent (2018)
Proportion of HIV infected among young men
0.5 percent (2018)
Proportion of population with access to clean
58.1 percent (2015)
Proportion of the population having access to
15.7 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
18.3 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care per person
$ 86 (2016)
Proportion of women in parliament
12 percent (2018)