Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. It is an absolute monarchy and has since 1970 been ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said.

The sultan holds ultimate authority, but the parliament  has some legislative power. With a modernization program including economic reforms and increased spending on health and education, the sultan has modernized and opened up the country since the 1970s. 

In 2011, protests spread in Oman, the Omanis demanding economic benefits, an end to corruption and more political rights. In response to the protests, Qaboos bin Said al-Said wowed to implement further economic and political reforms.

After Sultan Qaboos bin al-Said was slow to introduce the promised economic and political reforms, a series of antigovernment protests arose in 2012. The protests led to crackdowns on freedoms of expression and assembly with dozens of activists arrested throughout the year.

Although the basic law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, women suffer from legal and social discrimination. Oman’s personal status law, based on Sharia’a, favors the rights of men over those of women in marriage, divorce, inheritance, and child custody.

 

Facts

   

Total population

3,926,000 

Female population

1,342,692

Total 0-14 years (female)

484,068

Total 15-64 years (female)

955,687 

Total 64 years and over (female, 2015 est.)

55,587 
   

Life expectancy at birth (women)

79 years

Fertility rate (2012)

2.9 child born/woman

Total literacy rate

99.13%

Total literacy rate among females (2015)

85.6%

School life expectancy ( primary to tertiary education, 2011)

14 years

Female enrolment at higher education(2012

)

15%
 

*Higher education is the degree after achieving the high-school diploma