Mozambique | ActionAid UK


  • 48
    48% of girls are married by their 18th birthday.1
  • 33
    1/3 of the population does not have access to sufficient food.2
  • 49
    49% of adults can’t read and write.3

Women are not treated equally 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 — where 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.

Projects of Lugela - Mozambique

Women at an ActionAid supported Reflect Circle that meets twice a week, where they talk about challenges they face, focussing on violence against women, the empowerment of women, and different ways of generating their own income.

Photo: Fabio Erdos / ActionAid

What we do in Mozambique

Through 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.

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. The 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.

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 and how it affected people in Mozambique. 

How we’re changing lives for good in Mozambique

Read stories of women and girls we’re helping.


Photos: Fabio Erdos/ActionAid, Ernanio Mandlate/KISAI/ActionAid