Why we work in Mozambique
Despite being one of the world’s fastest emerging economies, more than half of Mozambique’s population live below the poverty line. Although the country’s rich natural resources have attracted recent foreign investment, the benefits have failed to reach the majority of people.
Flooding, drought and erratic rainfall in Mozambique make farming a challenge for families already living below the poverty line. In 2013 flooding was so severe that 118,000 people were forced to leave their homes and farms. On top of this, most women do not own the land they farm, despite the fact that 90% of farmers here are women.
4848% of girls are married by their 18th birthday.1
331/3 of the population does not have access to sufficient food.2
4949% 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.
How we’re changing lives for good in Mozambique
Changing attitudes to women
Felizardo lives in the north of Mozambique, and has three wives. He took part in training with ActionAid’s partner organisation NANA, and spent three days learning about violence against women. He is now a leader of one of many community groups set up by NANA, where local men and women come together to discuss community problems, and injustice for women.
Felizardo admitted that before the training he did not respect women’s rights and didn’t listen to his wife. Now he says: "The community is changing. The practice of hitting women is decreasing. Parents allow their girls to go to school."
Esmeralda, one of his wives, is also an active participant of a women’s group in the region. She has seen the change in Felizardo: "He learnt that women have many rights. Now, when I talk, he listens."Learn more about our work on violence against women