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Female genital mutilation (FGM), while not widespread, exists among some populations in northern parts of the DRC.
The prevalence of FGM is estimated at about 5% of women in the DRC.
But they remain underrepresented in the formal work force, especially in higher-level jobs, and generally earn less than their male counterparts in the same jobs.
Otherwise they were presumed to be femmes libres (free women) and were taxed as income-earning prostitutes, whether they were or not.
Women have to get the approval of their husband before getting any sort of job offer.
Adapting to this situation, urban women have exploited commercial opportunities in the informal economy, outside of men's control.
Moreover, educational opportunities for girls remained constricted compared with those for boys.
By the 1990s, women had made strides in the professional world, and a growing number of women now work in the professions, government service, the military, and the universities.