Djibouti - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Not with regards to working/living here as an expat. Djiboutians are very tolerant of different religions/races, particularly for expats. However, this is a conservative society, and I'm sure that there are a number of issues for women and immigrants that expats are not experiencing first-hand. - May 2022

Not really. Djiboutians are used to having foreigners in their country. This includes the U.S., French, Germans, Spanish, Japanese, Italians and Chinese. Djibouti is an international security city, which makes it the safest in the region. - Apr 2018

In Djibouti, the prejudices are mostly clan-based and unless you've really done your homework, you won't be able to differentiate people from the dominant and minority clans and sub-clans. But any Djiboutian will tell you that clan politics dominate everything. Djibouti is 95% Muslim and the other 5% is a smattering of Christianity. There is a Catholic church in town, a Catholic-run orphanage called Caritas, a Catholic organization in Tadjourah, and Lutheran World Federation all providing services to the local community. To my knowledge, they are well-respected and operate without interference. Gender equality has a long way to go, but Djibouti's First Lady is quite powerful and uses some of her vast resources to support women-focused initiatives. She runs an organization called The Union of Djiboutian Women, an orphanage and a training center. She has close ties to the Ministry of Women and Families and keeps tabs on many programs related to women's empowerment. At the grassroots level, ordinary Djiboutian women shoulder most of the responsibility for child rearing - with many families having 5,6,7 kids - and they sometimes work multiple jobs to overcome the high costs of living and/or high unemployment in their families. An overwhelming majority of Djiboutian men spend their afternoons and evenings chewing hypnotic khat leaves, which can drain the family's resources, create friction among families, and stunt national productivity. - Jun 2016

Only among their own tribes and it's not too bad. - Aug 2015

Djibouti is a moderate Muslim nation with expats from all over living here. While there clearly are inter-ethnic tensions and problems for women, I am not aware of this directly impacting expats who come here to work. There are a few Christian congregations that the government has given permission to exist and worship openly, as long as they do not engage in efforts to convert the Muslim population. - Feb 2013

Not that I know of. - Apr 2010

No. Djiboutians have their prejudices, but overall, theirs is a very open, friendly culture. They accepted Westerners and Western styles. - Aug 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More