The strength of Mozambique’s women
As in many African countries, women in Mozambique are the real engine of local socio-economic development; in fact, it is they who take care of the family and domestic activities, caring for children, the elderly and more; Mozambican women are almost always engaged in farm work on small plots and in the recovery of coal and water for cooking and eating. Although Mozambique has embarked on a path of greater social equity, it is traditionally and culturally a country characterized by highly unbalanced gender relations: women are overburdened with tasks and roles that often go unrecognized and expose them to risks and dangers.
According to data provided by UNESCO, the number of teenage marriages in Mozambique is very high, with about half of the girls dropping out of school and marrying before the age of 17 hoping for a better life but also to ease a burden on their family of origin. The same data estimate that 58 percent of Mozambican women lack adequate schooling, a fact that limits their chances of having better job prospects, more choices in life and breaking, at least in part, the cycle of poverty. The very preservation of health and the choice of a healthy lifestyle come through proper knowledge and information; statistics show that mothers with adequate education are committed to their children’s education. It is therefore clear that any cooperation and aid project for this country must keep this reality in mind and must seek to facilitate access to the tools to rebalance the balance of opportunity and ensure that women are no longer the most vulnerable part of society. Building on this awareness, ASeS, over the years with its projects, has committed itself to gender equality, advocated for women-empowerment and designed pathways with young people at the center, destined to be the future adults of this society, with the aim of ensuring training and new opportunities for individual and social improvement. We can say that precisely these are the goals and common denominator of the family farming projects we currently support. In addition to raising the community’s awareness of respect for women, our efforts are aimed at: increasing productive capacity through training in good agricultural practices; increasing and diversifying local production; supporting producing mothers to reorganize and improve teamwork especially in decision-making; and, a crucial aspect for the area, providing information moments on proper nutrition and the very serious consequences of malnutrition in children.
Currently, the women involved in our project are involved in the maintenance and upkeep of the community garden, an activity that, in our hopes, should provide a further opportunity to acquire the necessary know-how from the 5 farmers working in the garden and is a follow up to the training sessions that ASeS offers to the beneficiaries. These notions will serve women to cultivate their own small domestic plots. Today unfortunately as a result of Covid19 all our activities have been slowed down; however, we have managed to deliver some necessary tools to the beneficiaries and probably as early as August work, again safely, can resume as planned.