Landlocked Malawi abuts the shores of the eponymous Lake Malawi, which takes up a third of the country’s area. Home to a large number of different ethnic groups, Malawi is still cultivating a unified political identity. Its economy is largely underdeveloped and 85% of the country’s population is rural, half of whom are poor. Agriculture accounts for a third of the nation’s GDP. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has infected an eighth of the population and AIDS-related illnesses are a significant factor behind the country’s low life expectancy (55 years) and its high rates of infant and maternal mortality. Violence against women and gender inequality remain serious social issues confronting the nation. Malawi has made some steady progress since 1990 development benchmarks, but still ranks in the bottom decile in the Human Development Index.