The Republic of Madagascar is located off the southeastern coast of Africa. The population is a mixture of ethnicities and religions. Women generally have influence in society, have access to good medical care, and do not face widespread domestic violence. However, women still face traditional subservient gender roles and wage-earning gaps and do not occupy top-level positions in business and government. Madagascar ranked 78th of 134 countries in the World Economic Forum's 2009 Global Gender Gap Report.

Arranged marriages and polygyny have decreased in prominence in recent years. The 2009 fertility rate was high, at 4.8 births per woman, and skilled healthcare practitioners attend 45 percent of births. The 2009 infant mortality rate was 72 per 1,000 live births, and the maternal mortality rate was 510 ...

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