Young Women and Girls
Girls and young women in Mozambique face systematic disadvantages according to a wide range of indicators, including health and nutrition, education, protection, labour force participation and the burden of household tasks1.
Each year, 1in 3 girls, an estimated 14.2 million, are married before the age of 18. 1 in 9 girls are married before the age of 15.
Child marriage is a human rights violation, and form of violence that denies millions of girls their childhood as well as put them at risk of early pregnancy.
Mozambique ranks among the worst countries in the world in terms of a large spectrum of indicators on girls and women’s rights and wellbeing.
The centrepiece of this program is the promotion and protection of the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of girls and young women in Mozambique. The proposed program reflects the renewed attention by the United Nations to the equality agenda, which provides an opportunity to refocus youth programs towards the underlying causes and influential factors leading to the marginalization and vulnerability of girls and young women – as a vector for greater progress for society at large.
Platform for Girls and Young Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Mozambique
Our Programme through the inclusion of a strong emphasis on behaviour and social change communication based on the expertise and experience of our staff.
Innovative communication strategies towards a change in attitudes and behaviours are required to provide adolescents with essential information and to translate knowledge and attitude into practice; through positive decisions on issues that affect their future and well-being.
Influencing the social norms and cultural practices that rule the patterns of behaviours at community level, particularly on sexual and reproductive health, vulnerability to gender based violence and abuse and child marriage is critical in order to achieve positive behaviour change
Generally the program takes on a participatory approach, that includes the voice and participation of girls and young women in various platforms and media programs through radio and TV, as mentors and community activists; through mobilization of local and religious leaders play a role in the solution; based on evidence and experiences withour staff a specific focus will be placed on the importance of involving men and boys as well.
Community champions (men and women) will be mobilized to champion the issue of sexual and reproductive health of girls and young women in their communities based on experiences with staff.
The emphasis on male involvement in this program is based on the fact that “gender, the socially constructed roles, identifies and attributes of men and women is now widely recognized as integral to understanding and addressing behaviours and vulnerabilities.
Secondly, the program takes into consideration the effect of girls and young women’s economic empowerment on their agency, and consequently on their health, uptake of health care services, number of children, health of their children etc
Based on the fact that women’s capacity to bring about economic change for themselves increasingly is viewed as the most important contributing factor to achieving equality between women and men.
The program anticipates that a stronger emphasis in providing economic opportunities for the target group will assist in addressing the inequalities present in the geographic areas fuelling the vulnerabilities and marginalization of girls and young women.
Among the many barriers to young women’s access to economic opportunities prominence goes to a combination of lack of skills or possession inadequate skills due to gender prejudice which often results in orienting them to market saturated areas, inadequate financing and weak of coordination and complementary among the institutions which work on economic empowerment of young people.
Thirdly, to respond to the systemic barriers contributing to the unfulfilled sexual and reproductive health rights of girls and young women in Nampula and Zambezia, a specific focus will be placed on influencing the policy level to address the specific needs of girls and young women in policies, strategies and plans, and for those to be taken into practice. These efforts are further supported by a strong emphasis on the rights of girls and women related to sexual and reproductive health, which is underscoring the programmes’ focus on the UPR process and the participation of civil society, including youth associations, women associations and particularly the voice of girls and young women in policy advocacy. In this respect, the programmes relies on producing evidences to feed into policy advocacy on not solely the need for targeted and strategic efforts towards this target group, but also to demonstrate good practices and approaches to be up-scaled and replicated.
Furthermore, the program aims to respond to the gaps in capacity and coordination by building capacity of civil society and Government institutions.
Another key function of the Programme Implementation Team is to be coordination, reporting, knowledge management, and communication between implementing partners including the donor agencies. A crucial part of the coordination by the Programme Implementation Team will be to ensure the complementarity and alignment with the Provincial Committees and District Committees of PGB.