Gender Links defines strategies to combat early marriage

Date: May 9, 2018
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By Graça Maria, Maputo, 09 May: Data from the Demographic and Health Survey indicate that in Mozambique, 14% of women between the ages of 20 and 24 were married before the age of 15 and 48% were married before the age of 18. These data place Mozambique among the countries with the highest prevalence of preterm marriages in Africa and among the 10 most affected countries in the world.

In this context, Gender Links Mozambique met last May 3 in Maputo with its partners to review the 2016-2020 Strategy in line with the Post 2015 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and the National Strategy for the Prevention and Combating Premature Marriages in Mozambique.

According to Gender Links Executive Director Alice Banze, this meeting had three key objectives:
To frame Gender Links strategy to the National Strategy to Combat Premature Marriage; Initiate an open debate on the dissemination of the post 2015 SADC protocol on gender and development; and ensure that Gender Links contributes to the dissemination of the National Strategy for Preventing Premature Marriages.

In turn, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Action, Danilo Momade Bay, said that the government has carried out actions, but there are still challenges among which: legal reform with emphasis on family law, establishing the nubil age at 18 years without exceptions; and strengthening family socio-economic empowerment actions aimed at reducing vulnerability to premarital marriages.

For a better interaction and discussion, the participants were divided into 4 groups, where each of them had to discuss an area of intervention, namely: strategic plan risk analysis; the swot analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunitiesn and threats; analysis of the intervention logic / strategic plan theory of change and the mapping of potential donors.

Gender Links Mozambique’s modam chair of the Board of Directors considered that the contributions made by the various stakeholders “will help to fine-tune the Gender Links strategy, towards the achievement of the proposed objectives.”

Gender Links Regional Executive Director, Colleen Lowe Morna, who was traveling through Mozambique, encouraged government partnerships at central and local level, as well as the various civil society organizations that attended this meeting, as growth of GL Mozambique, highlighting the fact that Gender Links Mozambique is a reference and the only representation of the Region with an autonomous leadership, and registrated as an independent National association.

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