Country / Region profile of: Swaziland

Swaziland is a "monarchical democracy", but King Mswati III is an absolute monarch. Women are severely underrepresented in political life. The Constitution grants women equal rights and legal status as adults, but these rights remain restricted in practice. Swaziland’s dual legal system, where both Roman-Dutch common law and Swazi customary law operate side by side, has resulted in conflict leading to numerous violations of women’s rights, despite constitutionally guaranteed equality. In practice, women, especially those living in rural areas under traditional leaders and governed by highly patriarchal Swazi law and custom, are often subjected to discrimination and harmful practices. Traditional structures and practices prohibit women from speaking in public at men’s gatherings and present significant challenges for women’s political participation. Violence against women is endemic. Survivors of gender-based violence have few avenues for help as both formal and customary justice processes discriminate against them. Women occupy a subordinate role in society. Swaziland is ranked 105 out of 144 countries listed on the Global Gender Gap Index (GGI) for 2017. It acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2004.Swaziland abstained from the vote on the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, signed on 5th September 2013, but has not yet ratified. In 2017, $86.5 million was spent by Swaziland on its military. While both the legal code and customary law provide some protection against gender-based violence, it is common and often tolerated with impunity. Swazi women today are committed to promoting their rights and welfare and work to combat sexual and gender-based violence.

"Men have got to stop seeing our call for the end of discrimination against women as an attempt to usurp their authority.” - Ntombi Dube


$ 86,500,000
Military expenditure
Swaziland spends USD$86,500,000 on the military, including armed forces and peacekeeping forces, defence ministries, paramilitary forces, and military space activities.
Jobs for impoverished families
This amount could equip more than 15,000 impoverished families with the equipment needed to process crawfish and trade at the local market
NAP 1325
Swaziland does not have a National Action Plan for the Implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.
WPS commitments
Swaziland made no specific financial commitments on Women, Peace and Security in 2017.