The Republic of Burkina Faso has an estimated population of 16.3 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Ouagadougou. Burkina Faso has an area of 274,200 sq km (105,870 sq miles). The main languages are French and indigenous languages.
Burkina Faso became independent in 1960 from France. In the 1970s and 1980s, the country was devastated by repeated military coups. Multiparty elections were introduced in the beginning of the 1990s. Burkina Faso has very limited resources and is ranked by the UN as the world's third poorest country in the world.
The government has made efforts to improve gender equality by enacting new legislation, which gives same rights to men and women. Despite this, women are still discriminated against and their role is constricted to wife and mother.