Togolese express Tolerance toward (most) Minorities and Support for Gender Equality

The government of Togo has taken recent steps to protect the rights of women and minorities. One is a new penal code, adopted in November 2015 after years of advocacy by human-rights organizations, that strengthens protections against gender-based violence and discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, and other factors. However, the new law reinforces sanctions against people in same-sex relationships. Another legal step forward is a law on land rights, adopted by the National Assembly in June 2018, which reconciles traditional and modern law in a statute promoting equality for women and men. In this dispatch we examine social tolerance and attitudes toward gender equality in Togo. Findings show that most Togolese express tolerant attitudes toward people of different ethnicities, religions, and nationalities, but very few extend the same tolerance toward people in same-sex relationships. Togolese are widely supportive of gender equality when it comes to life opportunities, such as access to education and land and a fair shot at being elected to public office. But if jobs are scarce, a substantial minority would give priority to men. And most citizens think it’s better for a family if a woman is taking care of the household and children. On a peripherally related question about strategies for reducing the country’s fertility rate, majorities endorse promoting universal education for girls and financial autonomy for women, as well as adopting a three-child limit per family.