The Gambia, even by African dimensions, is a very poor country. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of WAG and acronym for Gambia. About half of the population lives in poverty (under US $ 2 per day). However, nine out of ten Gambians have access to clean water, even in the countryside. The average life expectancy is 57 years for men and 60 years for women (2011). Of 1,000 born children, nearly 70 die during their first year of life.
The state of health is poor, and a large proportion of the population is affected by dysentery, malaria, schistosomiasis and tuberculosis. About 2% of the population aged 15-49 is estimated to be affected by HIV/AIDS. The Gambia has a large shortage of care places and trained medical staff; there are eleven hospital beds (2009) and fewer than one doctor (2008) per 10,000 residents. Qualified personnel are available for just over half of the births. In 2009, healthcare accounted for 12% of public spending.
The Gambia has a long way to go for gender equality. Only 7.5% of MEPs are women. However, girls and boys participate equally in school education (primary and secondary school). The authorities oppose genital mutilation (female circumcision), but the practice is not prohibited by law and is still common practice.
Homosexuality is prohibited and homosexuals have on numerous occasions been exposed to threats from leading politicians in the country.