Mozambique: Women call for a stronger post 2015 agenda

Mozambique: Women call for a stronger post 2015 agenda

Date: September 9, 2014
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Maputo, 1 May: Participants at the two-day second SADC Protocol@Work Summit Mozambique have unanimously called for a stronger post 2015 agenda to speed up, among other things, gender equality, globally.

They said it takes stronger political will, more trust and investment in women, change of attitudes, as well as the commitment of all citizens to make it happen. Together, they sang in chorus “Yes, we can; yes, we must!”

Despite this enthusiasm and determination, the participants including government representatives, civil society organisations and women entrepreneurs, recognise that this is not an easy task. It requires that each and everyone redouble his or her efforts.

The deputy representative of UN Women in Mozambique, Florence Raes, says the 50/50 campaign is an ambitious goal, particularly in the rural area where patriarchal attitudes are still prevalent, relegating women to less important roles.

Raes is of the opinion that violence against women remains prevalent in Mozambique. That’s why, according to Raes, “we need to plea for a stand-alone goal on gender equality and on women’s rights. This framework will hopefully support increased pledges of resources because this does not happen without finance and other resources.”

Articles 20-25 of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development are on Gender Based Violence. Under these articles, countries of the region are required to enact and impose laws that prohibit gender based violence. In addition, sections of these legal instruments establish that levels of gender based violence should be halved by 2015.

According to the 2013 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer, reliable and comprehensive quantitative data on GBV is difficult to obtain. It says police statistics are highly contested because of underreporting of GBV and inadequate data collection tools. For this reason, there is no SADC Gender and Development Index (SGDI) score for GBV.

Despite strong legislation for GBV in most countries across southern Africa, including in Mozambique, the country’s minister of women’s affairs and social welfare, Yolanda Cintura, noted that, “the issue of violence against women is still a barrier for women to participate freely in the country’s development, in accessing quality education and in participating in political processes, including in the forthcoming general elections.

For this to materialise, Cintura said, “we must not sit with our arms folded. We must continue to defend gender equality and fight to change people’s minds in favour of equal rights and opportunities between men and women.”

Graca Samo of the Mozambican Women’s Forum or FORUM MULHER said the post 2015 agenda should include having more women in decision making positions – women who advocate the rights of their peers and gender equality.

“Once we are in the process of developing the MDGs known as the Sustainable Development Goals, we need women who can influence the post 2015 agenda, women who can be in power to implement programmes and plans that take into account the needs of women”, Samo said.

Former Mozambican Prime Minister Luisa Diogo and patron of the 50/50 campaign, the priorities of post 2015 agenda include, first, the consolidation of the achievements thus far. “When you achieve something, you need to sustain it and advance from there”, Diogo emphasised.

Diogo placed “very strong” political will and innovation as the second priority for the post 2015 agenda. She says the third priority is to recognise that women have a very strong contribution and they should be “given the necessary space, the necessary incentives to boost their capacity and energy to perform well for the good of the country.”


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