Article 11 of the Constitution of Liberia guarantees fundamental rights and freedoms for all, irrespective of sex. However, there is no explicit definition of gender discrimination in either the Constitution or Liberian legislation. Liberia ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, but has not yet ratified the Optional Protocol on violence against women.The country ratified the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa in 2008. In 2001, the government created a Ministry for Gender and Development, and a National Gender Policy is in place.
Civil and customary law are both recognised in Liberia under Article 65 of the Liberian Constitution. Customary law is, however, considered invalid if it violates constitutional provisions on non-discrimination or equality (art. 2 of the Constitution). In addition, the 1998 Equal Rights of Customary Law criminalise acts such as compulsory marriage of widows to a deceased husband’s relative, and forced marriage. Women who are married according to customary law are considered to be legal minors, and have little or no rights with regard to parental authority and inheritance, as well as a highly limited capacity to contribute towards decision-making within the household.
There is, similarly, no specific law in Liberia dealing with domestic violence, although a National Gender-Based Violence Plan of Action was adopted in 2006.According to the 2007 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), domestic violence appears to be widespread: 39% of women who were married or cohabiting reported having experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence at the hands of their husband or partner in their lifetime.When presented with a list of five different ‘reasons’ for a man to beat his wife in the same survey, 59.3% of women agreed with at least one.There are some government-run women’s refuges, but most support services are provided by women’s rights NGOS.
 CEDAW (2009a) p.8; CEDAW (2008) p.22 OECD (2014), Gender, Institutions and Development Database, http://stats.oecd.org  Idem, p.215  CEDAW (2008) p.38  CEDAW (2008) pp. 16, 28; DHS (2007) p.225  US State Department (2012)  CEDAW (2008) p.34; CEDAW (2009b) p.5OECD (2014), Gender, Institutions and Development Database, http://stats.oecd.org  Idem  CEDAW (2009b) p.6  US State Department (2012)  United Nations. (2008)  Decent Work Bill (2009) Draft 3  CEDAW (2009c) p.3  CEDAW (2009b) p.5  CEDAW (2008) p.34  Idem  Idem  CEDAW (2008) p.67; DHS (2007) pp.241-242  UNICEF (2013) p.55  Center for Reproductive Rights (2013)  US Department of State (2012)  CEDAW (2009a) p.13  DHS (2007) p.62  DHS (2007) p.95  DHS (2007) p.53  Idem  CEDAW (2008) p.60; CEDAW (2009a) p.14
CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html (accessed 28/03/2014)  DHS (2007) pp.107, 126  Idem, p.137  Idem, p.14  Idem  CEDAW (2009b) p.7  Idem
Although Title 29 of Liberian Property Law and Article 23 of the Constitution grant equal ownership rights to land and non-land assets to both men and women, discriminatory practices persist. Liberia has a dual land tenure system, based on written law derived from statutes and case law, and on customary law. Generally, customary tenure systems prevail.