"To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it"
The Republic of Togo has an estimated population of 6.8 million (UN, 2010). The capital is Lome. Togo has an area of 56,785 sq km (21,925 sq miles). The main languages are French (official), and other local languages.
Togo became independent in 1960 from France. For almost four decades, an authoritarian military government ruled the country. Nearly 5,000 people were killed in the 2005 presidential election and up to 40,000 people were displaced. The son of a former president was elected in to office during the first free presidential election in 2007. Because of its poor human rights record, the European Union blocked foreign aid to the country. This further weakened the economy.
In Togo, discrimination against women is widespread mainly within the family context. . Violence against women is widespread throughout the county. A UN report found that rape and other acts of sexual violence were committed against women in Togo during the 2005 presidential election. Domestic violence and female genital mutilation are common in the country. Despite some legislative progress, much work remains in order to integrate the equality of women in the country.