In Mozambique, the period from November 25th to December 10th is focused on Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The Mozambique Canada Maternal Health Project is directly involved. Project managers Ruta Massunguine and Argentina Muguambe describe our activities to educate about and reduce gender-based violence.
Ruta Massunguine, Community Co-ordinator, talks about how, “at the community level, our health committees have prioritized raising awareness about the dangers of early and forced marriage as a key problem that girls and young women face. Some of our teaching tools use fictional stories about women’s lives that look familiar to community members’ own. The aspects related to birth complications as a result of premature pregnancies among young women whose families have arranged their early marriages generate much debate and concern. In the current context, we’re planning focus group discussions to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on women’s and girls’ lives in terms of the gender-based violence they experience.”
Argentina Munguambe, Training Coordinator, states, “our health systems activities most directly addressing gender-based violence are the continuing education courses with SAAJ (sexual and reproductive health services for youth) health workers. Participants in those courses have shared their experiences of young women disclosing experiences of violence in school and at home. They’ve shown us that SAAJ programs are important sites of both learning about and intervening in gender-based violence. We hope that strengthened SAAJ services will lead to improved response to, and a reduction in, the violence young women face.”
Through these and other activities, the project seeks to contribute to reducing gender-based violence in Mozambique.