During ages from 2010-2018, 30% of Mali children work, ages 5-17.

35% of girls work, 40% of boys work.

42% of female adolescents in Mali are not in education, training or employment, compared to 24% of male adolescents.

24% of female adolescents engage in household chores, compared to 13% of male adolescents.

Based on these statistics, there is a high percentage of child labor in Mali, generally more boys are forced to work than women. Even though more boys work, there is a higher percentage of girls who are not in school, training or work.

The reason for this is probably due to the fact that girls are expected to engage in household chores or prepare to be married by their late teenage years.

Source: UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report (2019)


During ages from 2010-2018, 39% of young females are literate, 61% for young males (aged 15-19).

25% of young females complete lower secondary school, 36% for young males.

12% of young women complete upper secondary school, 23% for young men.

68% of young men are out of upper secondary school, 77% for young women.

Based on these statistics, it is clear that as the education level goes higher, there are less females in school. There is still a high percentage, for males and females, of young people in Mali that are not in school, but at least the majority of young males are literate. This is not the same for young women, where only about ⅓ of them are literate.

The lack of education for young women may be due to attitudes that education is not necessary for women who are supposed to get married, have children, and be obedient to their husbands. The lack of education for many young men, however, may be due to the fact that families start needing their sons to get a job and earn money for the family earlier. There also might be a higher price to get a quality education that would actually lead to a good job.

Source: UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report (2019)


During ages from 2010-2016, 17% of girls are married by age 15, 52% are married by age 18.

73% of females justify wife-beating (2010-2016), 51% of males justify it.

73% of female children are violently disciplined, this percentage is the same for male children too.

During ages from 2011-2018, 18% of girls are married by age 15, 50% are married by age 18, only 3% of boys are married by age 18

68% of female adolescents justify wife-beating, while 54% of male adolescents justify it

According to the statistics, a large proportion of young women in Mali are married off by age 18. The bride price is recognized to help families in poor circumstances, which may be a reason behind the early marriage send-off.

Also, more young women in Mali justify wife-beating than men. The report by Nancy Mezey notes that as of 2000, there were no laws prohibiting domestic violence. To this day, there are no laws specifically outlawing abuse of the wife. can this mean that women just accept wife-beating as a way of life, especially since the government does not protect them from violence at home?

Source: UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report (2017-19)


During ages 2004- 2016, 83% of women underwent female genital mutilation, 76% of girls underwent FGM, of those that underwent FGM, 75% supported it.

14% of women want the practice of FGM to stop (2018)

Adjusted maternal mortality rate is 587/1,000 women.

48% of women got one doctor visits before birth, 38% of Mali women got at least four doctor visits before birth. 58% of mothers get a post-natal health check.

174/1,000 girls aged 15-19 give birth, 33% of females give birth by age 18 (2013-2018)

Of 14,000 adolescents in Mali living with HIV, 8,800 of them are females. 25.7% of women use condoms with multiple partners, compared to 47% of men

According to the statistics, the majority of women in Mali undergo FGM (Female gender mutilation) and about this same number of women support it.

In addition, maternal care from doctors does not appear to be common in Mali and more than one appointment is a privilege. According to a report by Nancy Mezey in 2000, the ratio of doctors to patients in villages in Mali is 1:1.350.

Most women in Mali do not have modern knowledge about contraceptives or sex-related illnesses, which overall indicates that Mali lacks the resources necessary to adequately care for the women who raise and care for the children of Mali. The healthcare system became privatized which means that these individuals set the prices of medicine themselves. There are many more healers and marabouts (Islamic healers) than doctors in Mali villages, and their prices are better than doctors.

Therefore, it seems that women in Mali tend to seek aid from these healers more than doctors. The report by Nancy Mezey also indicates that women who lived farther away from the doctor were more likely to purchase medication themselves instead of visiting the doctor. In addition, women who were educated in government-run schools were more likely to have cash available to them than married women. As we saw by UNICEF’s statistics, many women are married by 18 so this means that many would not have enough economic resources to get medications. The report also notes that by the age of 18, many young women in Mali have already given birth. The lack of nutrition, forced sexual interactions, and early births all contribute to their vulnerability to HIV.

Source: UNICEF State of the World’s Children Report (2017-19)

Democracy and development in Mali (2000) - Published by: Michigan State University Press