The Republic of Benin has an estimated population estimated of 9.2 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Porto-Novo. Benin has an area of 112,622 sq km (43,484 sq miles). The main languages are French (official), Fon, Ge, Barida, Yoruba, and Dendi.
Formerly known as Dahomey, Benin gained its independence in 1960 from France. Benin is arguably one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Despite the stability, Benin is one of the poorest countries in the world and corruption is widespread.
Although the constitution of Benin grants equal rights to women and men, and prohibits gender discrimination, in practice, discrimination against women still persists. The existence of discriminatory customs due to traditional laws prevails in various spheres of life. Benin has ratified most of the international conventions related to women; however these conventions are rarely enforced.