Mozambique

  • 48%

    48% of girls are married by their 18th birthday.

  • 1/3

    1/3 of the population does not have access to sufficient food.

  • 49%

    49% of adults can’t read and write.

Women’s rights in Mozambique

Women are often treated unequally in Mozambique. 

Nearly half of all women are forced to marry before their 18th birthday. It is also common for women to face traditional practices such as “Kutxinga”, or widow purification, in which they are forced to marry their late husband’s younger brothers.

Although Mozambique has achieved over 90% enrolment in primary education, (compared to just 56% in 1995), drop-out rates are still high, and it is mostly girls who are missing out on a full education.

Nearly half of women are illiterate, and many are unaware of their rights to basic services such as healthcare.

Smallholder farmers walking through flooded paths after floods in Buzi, Mozambique. Photo: Daniel Jukes/ActionAid

What we do in Mozambique

Through our work supporting farming associations, ActionAid helps thousands of women to access and control the land they work on, and increase the amount of food they produce.

We train women in sustainable farming methods, enabling them to plant diverse and resilient crops that will grow throughout the year and boost their income.

We also support families who have been affected by floods by providing emergency food supplies, shelter, and seeds to replant crops.

Supporting women’s rights and ending violence

ActionAid works with women’s groups, police officers, teachers and students to raise awareness of the dangers of harmful traditional practices, and to reinforce the protection of women and girls in their everyday lives – at home, in school, at work on public transport and in market places.

We support thousands of women and girls, offering workshops on how to identify and report incidences of violence and to follow-up with local courts and tribunals.

To improve education opportunities for women, we support groups where they can learn to read and write. These groups also play a fundamental role in raising adults’ awareness of the barriers to children getting an education, and come up with ways in which children – particularly girls - could be encouraged to return to school.

We also train and support school councils which bring together children, parents, teachers and the wider community to tackle issues like drop-out rates and making schools safe for girls.

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Disasters in Mozambique

Southern Africa food crisis 2020

Mozambique is currently facing a severe food crisis, related to two devastating cyclones which struck in 2019, and the worst drought the region has faced in 35 years.

ActionAid is scaling up to respond to the food crisis in Mozambique and neighbouring countries. We’re distributing life-saving items like food and water purification tablets, plus critical items for longer term health, such as safe sanitary products and hygiene kits.

Learn more about this crisis and how you can help

Cyclone Idai 2019

In March 2019 we responded to Cyclone Idai, a devastating cyclone that affected Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. 

Possibly the worst weather-related disaster to ever hit the southern hemisphere, the cyclone killed at least 1,000 people and left 400,000 without a home. 

Mozambique was the worst-affected country in the region - 1.5 million people were affected. 

ActionAid’s initial response included distributing food, blankets, water sterilising tablets, shelter, clothes and mosquito nets in the affected countries. In Mozambique, our response included:

  • the distribution of sanitary kits for women and girls
  • the distribution of school books, so children could continue to learn
  • establishing women-friendly spaces to help prevent violence against women and girls, and provide psychological support to those affected. 

In the long-term, our work includes helping communities to rebuild their livelihoods, by training women in farming and distributing agricultural tools. 

Find out more about Cyclone Idai in Mozambique

Southern Africa food crisis

Drought, flooding, insecurity and the impacts of an unprecedented two cyclones, Kenneth and Idai, have left 2.5 million people in urgent need of humanitarian support in Mozambique. 

Fatima, a farmer from Lamego, Mozambique lost everything when fatal flooding destroyed her crops. 

Every year we rely on the field, but everything is gone."

ActionAid Mozambique is continuing to support nearly 10,000 people in communities devastated by Cyclone Idai, through protection, education, livelihoods, resilience and accountability activities.

Learn more about the Southern Africa food crisis

Farmers like Fatima have lost their livelihoods due to the climate crisis

Daniel Jukes/ActionAid

Rosa, a primary school pupil from Manhiça district

Ernanio Mandlate/KISAI/ActionAid

Improving education through school councils

In Manhica district, school councils are making a big difference to education.

58% of people in the district are illegitimate - predominantly women.

But with support from ActionAid, parents and teachers, the Primary School council has managed to build a kitchen where school means are cooked, helping more girls go to school, like Rosa, a local school pupil. She said:

I can now say proudly to anybody where I study because we now have a true and genuine school.”

We have also supported the building of new classrooms and toilet blocks.

Learn more about our work on education

Page updated 18 November 2021