You are on page 1of 28

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique

Mapping Report
March 2015

With the support of:

With the support of

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Table of Contents
1. Executive Summary
1.1. Introduction Context Analysis
1.2. Objectives and Data Collection Methods
2. Mapping: Data Collections and Analysis
3. Conclusions and Recommendations
4. Next Steps
5. Annexes
Annex 1- List of Womens Organizations Mapped
Annex 2- Contact Details of Informants
Annex 3- Attributions of MMMR and MuGeDe


Technical Details
Title: Rural Women Organizations - Mapping Report
Coordination: MMMR- Mozambican Movement of Rural
Women; and MuGeDe Association of Women, Gender
and Development
Support: UN Women Mozambique and Belgium
Development Cooperation
Solange Rocha (team leader);
Khanysa Mabyeka (field researcher);
Sylvie Desautels (preliminary data researcher)
Translation: Lesira Gerdes
Rights and Permissions
All rights reserved. The text and data in this publication may be reproduced provided that the source is cited. Reproduction for commercial
purposes is prohibited.

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Executive Summary
This report systematizes the information
which resulted from the mapping rural
women's organizations in Mozambique. The
study was conducted by the Mozambican
Movement of Rural Women (MMMR),
through the Association Women, Gender and
Development (MuGeDe) with the support of
UN Women 1. It intends to contribute to
improve access to consolidated information
about the organizations of rural women in
Mozambique as well as to their visibility and

and UN Women with the expertise and

previous experience of the researchers team.
Different research methods were employed,
such as interviewing key informants 3 through
direct contact, telephone and electronic
means to gather acquire strategic information
on the existing rural women of organizations.
In addition, a preliminary literature review was
carried out on the living conditions of rural
women in Mozambique. The information of 77
first-person sources were systematized and
are available in annex one.

The mapping was carried out in two stages 2,

the first of which consisted of the collection of
information on rural women's organizations.
The mapped organizations operate in the
areas of production, processing and services
handicrafts, agro-processing, small-scale
mining, fishing and the like) with coverage in
all provinces of Mozambique.

The mapping identified more than 813

organizations (of which most were not
members of MMMR) from 185 locations of 11
provinces. Furthermore, the mapping sheds
light on the existence and vast work of the
rural women organizations, creating dynamics
for more organizations to join the MMMR
The mapping was discussed and validated by a
reference group in a seminar held in April
2015. The reference group comprised the
representatives of government institutions as
well as organizations which played a key role
in the process of gathering information. The
contributions of all public institutions, civil
society organizations, development agencies,
rural women's associations and all who
directly or indirectly contributed to mapping is

The quantitative data from the first stage and

the context of the provinces set the
foundation for defining the strategy for
carrying out the second stage of the research
with a qualitative method approach. This
qualitative method approach consisted of field
missions to conduct focus group discussions
with the aim of deepening the data previously
collected. This report provides an analysis and
recommendations to strengthen the MMMR,
the MuGeDe, the rural women's associations,
and organizations working with rural women,
networks and forums. The report also aims to
serve as a reference for the government and
partners to include the realities and needs of
rural women in their development plans.
The mapping combined the recommendations
and guidelines provided by MMMR, MuGeDe

Term used in qualitative research. In this process people are selected

according to their inclusion in the community or in research topic, and
are able to identify new subjects or themes for research.

1 Working under the supervision of UN Womens Programme Specialist

and with the official support UN Women Mozambique (thematic Area:
Women Economic Empowerment) and with the coordination of
Refer to Annex 1 for details on the objectives and research method.

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

The Poverty Reduction Strategy (PARP) 20112014, the main document of public policies in
Mozambique in the period in question, states
that the average annual GDP growth is 7.6%,
driven in the past 15 years by mega-projects.
However, such economic investments have
not translated into a noteworthy reduction of
poverty and food insecurity. In fact the current
levels fall short of targets set in the PARP. The
PARP acknowledges that despite economic
growth, in aggregate, inequalities have
widened between urban and rural areas.
According to MuGeDe 5, the agricultural sector
in Mozambique is responsible for 22% of GDP
and is the main engine of global growth.
About 80% of the workforce is employed in
this sector, mostly through subsistence
agriculture, which is mostly comprised of rural
women. Although rural women represent the
largest work force in agriculture, data from the
Ministry of Agriculture reveals that women
represent only 11% of extension workers, only
13% of the beneficiaries of extension services
and only 25% of women hold the title of Land

1. Introduction

Context Analysis

The lives of rural women in Mozambique are

plagued with gender inequalities, women are
faced with several socio-economic and
cultural constraints that create barriers to a
life with equal rights.
According to MuGeDe 4,
Most women do not own the land they use
in legal terms.

It is currently estimated that 55% of

Mozambiques 23 million people live below
the poverty line. Mozambique has a high rural
poverty rate affecting 71.2% of the
population. In addition, climate change greatly
exacerbates the already fragile and precarious
condition in which women find themselves,
especially rural women (MUGEDE, 2012).

Most women face limited access to

financial services that could greatly aid
them in evading poverty.

Most women live without the guarantee

of basic nutrition, health care or access to
clean water and sanitation.

They experience a double burden. The

unpaid labour of the private sphere or the
unpaid family care tasks, is solely placed
upon them which places an often
overlooked heavy burden on women and
prevents their access to paid employment.

Data from INE (2011) indicates that lack of

access to public services persists within
Mozambique: only 47% of the population has
access to drinking water and the equal access
to education for women and girls is raised into
question when the literacy rate is only 64.6% 6
among women compared to 85.8% among

According to the National Statistics Institute

(INE, 2013), for 70% of the population living in
rural areas the main source of income derives
from agriculture, of which 87% are women.

MuGeDe - International Day of Rural Women - 15 October 2012

MUGEDE concept note for the CPLP Forum on Rural Women, 2012.

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

The annual plan of AgriFuturo 7 2012
underscores that high illiteracy rates and low
economic and social mobility for Mozambican
women causes them to be more likely than
men to work in agriculture and less qualified
tasks. Of unskilled agricultural workers,
women account for 59%, which corresponds
to 88% of total female employment sector 8.
Moreover, estimates indicate that qualified
agricultural worker earns 64% more than
unskilled farm worker.

recognition stemmed from the reality that

there are over 500 million Agrarian
The Millennium Development Goals strives
for the eradication of poverty and hunger,
promoting gender equality and empower
sustainability, and among others, all of
which are directly linked to improving the
situation of rural women.
At the national, policies and strategies for the
development of the agricultural sector have
been enacted, namely:

In the southern provinces of Mozambique,

women are more vulnerable due to the
patrilineal inheritance system that puts them
at risk of losing all their assets in the event of
a divorce or their husbands death.

Despite the limits and barriers at the national

level, at international level there have been
some noteworthy advances: Mozambique has
signed and ratified agreements and
commitments that allow Mozambique to
strengthen its legislation, policies and
guidelines. However, the MMMR retains that
there is still a long way to consolidate these
advances in the lives of rural women.

On the International Arena:

From 1992 9, the Geneva Declaration for

Rural Women recognizes the importance
and the value of the contribution of rural
women to democracy and socio-economic

The Green Revolution Strategy;

Research Strategy;
National Agricultural Extension
Irrigation Strategy, Action Plan for Food
Strategic Livestock Plan;
Strategy for Food Security and Nutrition;
PEDSA - Strategic Plan for the Development
of the Agricultural Sector, which is
harmonized and aligned with all of these
CAADP Integrated program for
agriculture in Africa;
Sector PNISA - National Investment
Program of the Agricultural Sector.

The literature review and the interviews with

key informants and key stakeholders reflected
the context of rural women and their
challenges. The role of rural women in food
production is essential, but according to the
MMMR, rural women still lacks support,
government, society and their own families.
According to MuGeDe, much of agricultural
work is performed by women, in various
conditions; for example, as paid workers, as
substance farmers, amongst other, but they

The Community of Portuguese Speaking

Countries - CPLP, at their summit held in
Maputo in 2012, identified food and
nutritional security as one of their priority
areas for the coming years.
In 2013, the United Nations proclaimed
2014 as the Year of Agrarian Family, the

USAID, AgriFuturo, 2013.
Declarao de Genebra para as Mulheres Rurais. Aprovada na Cimeira
sobre o Avano Econmico das Mulheres Rurais (Genebra, 25 e 26 de
Fevereiro de 1992).

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

do not receive the same kind of professional
recognition men in the same sector.

Attitudes and Behaviour

The tables below highlights the main

limitations and obstacles faced by rural

Access to Services, Information and Resources

Cultural and legal barriers to access to land.

Lack of agricultural infrastructures and irrigation
Lack of transport resources for harvested goods
and lack of infrastructure that is conducive to
the transportation of goods such as quality
roads, rail, and others.
Lack of means to facilitate the productionsuch
as agricultural infrastructure and technology
(tractors, improved seeds, irrigation system,
etc.). Currently, production is heavily dependent
on rainfall.
Lack of access to markets and lack of knowhow
on agricultural and livestock modern
technologies. In addition, lack of platforms to
exchange of experiences with other rural women
associations at home and abroad. Lack of
support machinery for the transformation of
corn and other agricultural products as well as
the lack of access to conservation of agricultural
products (closing linked to the need to have
improved barns and agro-processing systems).
Lack of access to education opportunities
combined with lack of platform to develop their
capabilities, rural women often solely have the
time-consuming burden of producing food and
taking care of the homework that is often not
financially compensated.
Poor knowledge, insight and information on the
human rights of women.
Lack of access to formal education and literacy
for women and girls, as well as lack of national
training strategies that reflect what women can
do and what women like to do in order to
accelerate their empowerment.
Poor participation of women in political and
business spheres. Lack of information on
production and markets means: information is
often times either given in Portuguese and many
rural women do not speak Portuguese or
disseminated in written form to an illiterate
Lack of access to personal identification
documents (ID, passport, etc.)
Lack of access to banking and credit due to
difficulty in mobility or cultural barriers.
Need to improve and increase public services

Low interest of young people to work in the

agricultural sector.
Lack of control over resources and poor
decision-making power. In most cases women
do not decide on the fruits of their labour.
There is an entire cultural structure promotes
the man to be the sole decision maker, giving
him the power to decide on the management,
the fate of crops, and the income generated.
Little experience of women in public space and
in positions of power whether in the public or
private sector.
Limited voice given to women with very little to
no room to voice their opinions and defend
their ideas.
When capacity development trainings do occur,
often times the trainings initiatives are over
packed to incorporate the perspective of
gender and gender roles into context of climate
change or food sovereignty and securityvery
seldom are they given the attention and
importance to be maybe the primary focus of
the training.
Low participation and leadership of women in
associations, forums, cooperatives and
t t ti
l di t
ll l

Formal Norms/ Legislation

In Mozambique, the lack of a specific laws

regulating the issues of rural women, human
rights violations and deep socio-economic and
gender inequalities still persist, despite the
Constitution defining women's rights as human
rights (Articles 36 and 67 state that men and
women are equal regardless of race, ethnicity,
place of birth and social position). Despite
numerous government commitments on
gender area and poverty reduction, and
considerable advances in national laws and
strategies for advancing the human rights of
women, in Mozambique significant human
rights abuses and deep inequalities persist.
Limited dissemination of laws (on Land, Family,
Violence Against Women) and policies on the
environment and climate change, agriculture,
Gender, International protocols etc., in
simplified form and in national languages, to
facilitate their understanding and ownership by
rural women.

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Informal Norms/ Traditional and Cultural

play an integral role in reducing the

vulnerabilities faced by children, elderly and
other disadvantaged groups.

Difficulties accessing productive land due to the

barriers created by customary norms of traditional
society that discourage and prevent rural women to
have access the DUAT.
Cultural taboos condition and limit women's access
to resources. For example, despite many advances
in access to bank credit and micro-credit persists as
the only viable option for rural women. The
perception of their families and community is that
women need the presence of a man in accessing
credit. Women have limited access to credit due to
lack of collateral assets, weak ability to write and
design and little experience in financial
management. This cultural taboo persists despite
the bank institutions affirmation that women
compared to men, have higher credit repayment
rates and honour their commitments better than
Culturally, through customs and beliefs, it is not
widely recognized that it is imperative to have
women participating in politics and influencing
decision-making processes.
Unequal gender roles in sexual and reproductive
health creates a barrier to womens empowerment.
The beliefs and superstitions related to womens
bodies and their reproductive cycle, such as
pregnancy, menstruation, abortion, as well as
traditional practices such as widow purification in
the central and south provinces, lobolo and
initiation rites throughout the country reinforce
and recreate traditional gender roles and norms in
society. Furthermore, these beliefs shape and
determine women's position in public sphere; such
as, their position in communities and religious
spaces, access to land and the ownership of
production outputs, access to credit, etc.

Society and institutions, through public

policies, reproduce unequal gender relations
in which men are given the social role and
responsibility of being the providers and
women the caregivers. Rural women, in
particular, suffer gender inequalities in
relation to the social recognition of their
fundamental rights; access and control of
technological and natural resources; as well
as, access to and control of their work returns.
This context of high social inequalities for
women creates enormous challenges for
government and civil society organizations. In
a literature review conducted, cross-searching
certain keywords such as associations of
women, economic power and women's
organizations in Mozambique reveals that
there is a quantitative increase of associations
committed to the advancement of women's
rights agenda. The Government, womens
networks and civil society organizations have
undertaken several initiatives in this direction,
investing significant time and resources to
However MuGeDe, with MMMRs support,
advocates that it is crucial for women
organizations to fight against adversity,
creating a united and organized front that
goes beyond the locality or community and
beyond national and regional borders;
grasping a global dimension that enables the
agrarian rural women to develop and adapt
profitable and sustainable practices.

In Mozambique, the dimensions of gender

inequalities result in profound asymmetries
that create disadvantages for women.
According to the CMI statistics (2008) 10, 62.5%
of women lie in the poorest percentile of the
population in Mozambique, despite this
reality, women play a central role in
supporting vulnerable populations. Women

MuGeDes concept note for the 2012 Forum

of Rural Women of CPLP recognizes that at the
bases of achieving food and nutrition security
is sustainable agricultural production and its
entire production chain. Thus, MuGeDe

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

organizations efforts at the field level, with a
focus on rural women.

1.2. Objectives and Data Collection

Research Universe and its Limits
The mapping of rural women's organizations
in Mozambique took place from December
2014 to March 2015 and aims to help fill a gap
in the systematization of information on rural
women in Mozambique. The study seeks to
deepen the knowledge we have on how rural
women are grouped around activities and
services. It seeks to answer the questions of
why and how; more specifically, what are the
constraints they face, what is their legal status,
what are the skills they have (technical and
financially), who is their funding sources, what
are the major barriers in their struggle for
acquiring equal rights, how they make
decisions, and what is their organizational
structure and organization behaviour.
Furthermore, the study intends to identify and
record examples of good practice, success
stories and innovations in any of the aspects
mentioned for its dissemination.

unions/associations aims to strengthen and
empower women. The elevation of the status
of rural women requires a holistic strategy,
which includes all aspects of development
(social, economic, political and cultural), and
considers the diversity of the activities
performed by rural women.
The MMMR Movement highlights this need
and further calls for the integration of the
efforts of rural women's organizations with
the efforts of government institutions and civil
society organizations. It should be a civil
society movement that is propelled by rural
women for rural women but does not exclude
the inclusion of government institutions and
civil society organizations; on the contrary, the
participation. The movement should foster a
interaction, learning, sharing of experiences
and exchange in the various productive
sectors, particularly in agriculture.

The study interviewed women in organizations

that are part of MMMR and organizations that
are part of other civil society networks and

Globally, it is a major struggle to create a

coherent united movement of rural women
which advocates to create an enabling
environment that strengthens rural womens
ability to decide, argue, control resources,
break the culture of silence and become
knowledge of their human rights. In
Mozambique, situation does not differ much
from the global trend; arguably in the
Mozambican context, the number of
challenges is even higher. Given that the
population of women in Mozambique is
mostly poor and living in rural areas, the
number of challenges faced when advocating
for socio-economic and cultural changes that
promote gender equality are greater.

The mapping study was performed in two

phases. The first phase consisted of a
quantitative mapping of existing rural women
associations within Mozambique and a
literature review. The strategy employed in
the first phase was acquire information about
existing rural women organizations through a
broad national consultation of networks,
forums and organizations closely linked to
rural women such as MMMR/MuGeDe and
other organizations. Based on the data
collected in the first phase, 3 provinces of
Mozambique were selected to deepen the
national sampling of the study.
In the first phase, most of the organizations
and institutions consulted had problems in

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

In accordance to Kellehers quadrant 11, the
selected provinces face challenges and
opportunities related to the provision of
services, for example, the impact of megaprojects, and also the slow improvements in
the access to public services that promote and
protect women's rights. Both in rural and
urban areas there are visible differences in
opportunities presented to men and women
that stem from the gender inequalities
embedded in cultural and traditional norms.
Mozambique has made some noteworthy
legislative advances. Mozambique has ratified
and implemented progressive legislations that
implementation of services and changes in
gender relations are limited by customs and
practices and institutions that reproduce
gender inequality. In this sense, attitudes and
behaviours that promote equal rights are an
important catalyst for change and the
advancement of women.

providing an information list of partner

organizations in which the information was
complete and in some cases, disclosed that
"information that is not widely used are in the
In this initial phase, the selected rural women
organizations have to be autonomous, have to
have been created by women, have women in
leadership and management positions, and
constitute of a maximum of two to six men.
The mapping demonstrated that in all regions
of Mozambique, rural women's organizations
have strong links to national networks and
organizations. The existence of some
organizations consists primarily around
farming or animal husbandry with specific
projects increase their access to resources,
markets and credit. Aside from working in the
field, other organizations concentrate their
efforts on the promotion of human rights of
rural women, such as land rights as well as
campaigning for the end violence against
women and girls.

In addition during the second phase, dialogue

sessions were conducted using the focus
group methodology. The second sought to
explore and denote the experience of the
rural women organizations in order to record
the organizational knowledge and their
lessons learnt. The main challenges faced,
strategies to overcome challenges, and
recommendations on how to provide
institutional capacity development were
identified in order to improve the socioeconomic status, political and cultural
development of rural women.

The second phase consisted of a qualitative

study which seek to uncover the nature
existence, struggle, limits, opportunities and
needs of rural women organizations in
Mozambique. Three sessions of focus groups
were conducted. Each focus group consisted
of 12 women leaders, one in Tete, in another
Metoro (Cabo Delgado) and the last in
Chkw (Gaza).
In terms of the areas and organizations to be
analysed in depth, the selected provinces
follow the criteria for being representative of
the north, centre and south of the country.
These provinces are representative of
patriarchal societies (Tete and Gaza) and
matrilineal (Cabo Delgado), offering the
possibility to obtain comparative information
on how the form of social organization affects
how the organizations of rural women forms,
their motivation and their sustainability.

In particular, the mapping defined that the

selected rural women organizations had to

11 Gender analysis approach of Gender at Work (2009). The Quadrant

Kelleher (Gender at Work) is useful for analysing focus groups the
formal aspects, i.e. the actions to the conditions and access to
resources for women and policies, mechanisms and organizational rules
on gender; and informal aspects, such as actions aimed at influencing
the change of consciousness of men and women in organizations and
change of organizational culture, core information to analyse the
strength and capability of organizations in the construction of rural
women's movement.

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

have in their decision-making processes the
following elements: 1) if they question the
issue of gender equality, and specifically
economic empowerment of rural women is
one of the core values of the organization 2) if
they address the issue of the violation of the
rights of rural women 3) if they advocate for
women to control the productive assets of the
family (earning / saving / spending) and to
have the power of making decisions on
savings and loans 4) if they encourage rural
women to harvest new experiences and
exercise the power to decide within and
outside the organization (5) mechanisms to
incentivise rural women to gain access to
resources and alternative forms of collective

2. Mapping: Data Collection and

2.1 Profile of the Provinces Analysed in
the Second Phase

Limits and Lessons Learned

The lack of systematic data by the informant
organizations was the main limitation of this
study. Organizations promised to provide
information did not always possess organized
data. Several rural women organization
contact lists were incomplete; consequently,
the second phase initiated with preliminary
data. These limitations are reflected in the list
of mapped organizations as not all fields of
contact information are complete (refer to
annex 1).

Motivation: The province of Tete has benefited in

recent years from investments by mega-projects in
rural areasmainly geared towards the extractive
industry. These projects are certainly contributing to
changes in access and use of natural resources
related to the livelihoods of men and women. The
existence of these mega-projects has been a driving
force for the creation of organizations/groups of
rural women to defend their rights to sustainable
Socio-Economic Data and Gender Indicators: The
province of Tete, has a total population of 2,137,700
inhabitants, 51% are women (Census 2007),
analysing indicators such as low social status and
low per capita income, according to UNDP (2010)
the province was in the late position of the Human
Development Index, 165 of 169 (0.284) in the
African Community.

The choice to do focus groups with the

participation of MUGEDE resulted from the
realization that it could be an opportunity for
dialogue and explanation of what is MMMR
and its objectives to the rural women
organizations; creating a platform that could
enable them to mobilize and join the
movement if they choose to.

It is a region heavily affected by mega-projects and

has seen an explosion of job opportunities for local
people. Data from the Ministry of Labour in 2012
indicated that in the last five years about 20,000
new jobs had been created. However, these jobs,
only 1,600 women benefited, partly because in
comparison to men, women lack in formal
education. Thus, pushed towards the side-lines and
remaining in the agricultural sector.


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

In addition, the mega-projects has created a
significant environmental impact and left families
(especially women) living in difficult conditions.
According to data from the Mozambican
Government (2012), two-thirds of the rural
population lives in absolute poverty of which mainly
by women and children comprise of these twothirds. In this province, as in other regions of
Mozambique, customary law dictates that the land
must be inherited through the paternal line of
consanguinity. In the current context, women are
heavily affected by HIV and AIDS and the stigma and
discrimination associated with the disease further
contributes to the differentiated access to resources
for women. This phenomenon has serious
development. In many cases, women are expelled
or abandoned when their HIV/AIDS status is
disclosed; thus, losing properties and livelihoods.

Cabo Delgado

In Cabo Delgado there are several organizations

linked to national and international civil society
organizations which work on the thematic area
of gender issues and gender equality.
The first phase of the mapping of rural women
organizations in the north provinces of
Mozambique, majority of rural women
associate in collective farms. Rural women in
Cabo Delgado also associate in the fisheries
sectoran activity predominantly performed by
men at the national level.

Cabo Delgado is undergoing economic changes due

to mega-projects. With these changes, women have
begun to participate in the value chain in districts
such as Palma and Mocmboa da Praiaaltering
the pattern of employment of women. However,
the existence of these mega-projects has fostered
new components to struggles of rural women
organizations. The growth of certain economic
sectors has led to the reorganization of production
relations and gender relations.


Socio-Economic Data and Gender Indicators:

Located in northern Mozambique, Cabo Delgado
province has a population of about 21 thousand
people (Census 2007), with 70.2% of the population
located in rural areas. The overall illiteracy rate is
50.4%, while the illiteracy rate for women is 64.2 %.
In the context of northern and central provinces of
Mozambique, it is important to highlight that there
are differences in the roles men and women roles
depending on whether they are part of matrilineal
or patrilineal society. In Cabo Delgado, society is
shaped by matrilineal descent systems (traces
kinship ties through the maternal line); goods are
inherited through the matrilineal lines. According to
the researcher Isabel Casimiro (2010), matrilineal
systems stem greater benefits women when comes
to access to and control of resources. For example
in Macua tradition, erukulu (literally means womb)
is the basic unit of society as a result women are
given significant role in society. On that note, a
womans surname is given to her children, but the
responsibility to ensure the substance and survival
of the family is attributed to her brother or her
partner. However, WLSA underscores that the fact
society has matrilineal structure does not always
translate into womens empowerment. In fact, the
power of decision is vested in the mother's brother
(maternal uncle) which owns the right to distribute
the assets and resources. In general, gender
relations in Mozambique, are characterized by the
subordinate position of women. This cultural of
subordination teaches women not to issue opinions,
not to speak before men, not to retain eye contact
during interactions, not to invest too much in a
formal education, not to independently take
initiative on their sexuality, not seek how to know
and be able to buy their own food or household
items, and not know or want to buy their own
economic empowering tools. Thus, considering the
changes that are taking place in the region, it was
considered strategic to deepen the knowledge
about organizations that region.

Motivation: Located in southern region of
Mozambique, Gaza is a province where one can find
groups of women in the industry of natural
resources exploitation (with emphasis on the
exploitation of charcoal) which is not very common
in other parts of the country. The grouping of
women to carry out income-generating activities is
a strategy to ensure greater control over their work
environments and profits arising therefrom.

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Several rural women organizations identified in
Gaza have the reduction of costs of production and
irrigation as one of the central themes. Women
unionize in order to be co-own land or share costs.
Given that this province is affected by high
immigration to neighbouring South Africa and the
impact of HIV / AIDS. There are changes in the
initiatives and work and income opportunities since
it is a province with a high percentage of women
heads of households (as men have migrated).

However, infant mortality and HIV prevalence rates

are high According to the CMI (2010), labour
migration to Maputo and South Africa has
translated into higher responsibilities and workload
for women in Gaza. This dynamic immigration
fostered women to take jobs traditionally defined
masculine, thereby changing, historically the
province's gender profile. This change of gender
profile is also reflected in womens political
participation; there is a relatively high presence of
women in political representation.

Socio-Economic Data and Gender Indicators: Gaza

has around 1.2 million people (INE, 2009) whose
proximity to Maputo brings influences for their
economic development. Gaza has a human
development index (HDI) of 0.439 which is
considered high in the Mozambican context.
Considering the dynamics contradictions of the
urban and the rural, rural women are concentrated
in the traditional labour practice of agrarian and
informal economic activities, and semi-formal
economy, as exemplified in the markets in Xai-Xai
and Chkw where 95% traders are women (CMI,

However, an important characteristic that

contributes to defining Gaza as one of the search
fields is its domestic arrangements. Gaza has a high
proportion of families headed by women which
could translate to a change in cultural practices and
traditional forms of marriage, or even the cultural,
economic and political advancement of many rural

Statistics from CMI (2010) demonstrate that Gaza

has had high levels in social development
(education and health). In addition, the Gender
Equality Index measures reveal that these social
developments have occurred in Gaza in a manner
that has resulted in smaller disparities between
men and women in relation to other parts of the
country. However, the mortality rate, despite being
in decline, is still considered high at 17.4% (INE,
2013). HIV prevalence is the highest in the country:
29.9% of women and 16.8% of men are infected
(INSIDA, 2010). Data from INE also underscores that
there is a high poverty rate based on the
consumption, of about 59%. 53.6% of households
are headed by women in Gaza (INE, 2009), which
corresponds to twice the aggregate of the northern
region of the country. The research CMI (2010)
points out that overall households headed men are
better off than female-headed households in terms
of income levels and consumption. This is mainly
due to the fact that women in the region face
greater challenges in becoming self-employed or
seeking employment in the public sphere. The same
study found that in Gaza, traditional marriage and
patrilineal traditions, such as the lobolo, have
"largely been replaced by the 'cohabitation' and
nuclear family" which changes the experiences of
women with respect to decision making.
Gaza is one of the provinces with the highest rate of
violence against women and girls in Mozambique.
The region has better school attendance rates
(77.3%) compared to the northern and central
regions of the country.


It also important to integrate the gender dimension

in the face of natural disasters (such as flooding and
droughts) and their impact on economic activities,
as well as to integrate the gender dimension in
dimension of HIV/AIDS and the impact of socio2.2
Organizations Mapped
economic and cultural influencing factors.

Data and related graphs depict the universe of

the 813 rural women's organizations identified
by mapping during the four months of
contributions of the organizations contacted,
it is considered that this is an initial
systematized mapping which creates a
platform for MuGeDe and MMMR to continue
expand the database.
Organizations Mapped: 813 Rural Women
Organizations, totalling: 501 - Agriculture and
horticulture; Five - Advocacy and legal
assistance; 65 - Promotion of women's rights,
child HIV and AIDS; 57 - Fisheries and
livestock; 28 - Poultry; 10 - Beekeeping; 47 Savings and Credit; 37 - Provision of services
(education, sewing, support the girl, etc.); 20 marketing; eight - Pottery and crafts; Nine Other (including dance and environment).

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Cabo Delgado


due to the fact that it is strategic region where

mega-projects are being implemented.
Provinces: Cabo Delgado, 84; Gaza, 169;
Inhambane 39; Maputo, 36; Nampula 33;
Niassa, 217; Sofala, 133; Tete, 38; Zambezia,
and 33; Manica, 14.






Key informants 12: 77 organizations. Profile: 60

national civil society organizations, seven
organizations of international civil society,
three multilateral institutions and seven
organizations that work directly with or
comprise of a network that work with rural
Most of the information
gathered derived from the MuGeDe and
MMMR focal points in each province.



4% 5%




Fig. 1 Organizations by Province

The profile of organizations reveals that 100%
of these organizations work directly in the
fields and/or provide support to rural women.
For the purpose of presenting of
disaggregated data, the mapped rural women
organizations were requested to define the
main focus of their work. The data shows that
rural women organizations defined their
main focus to be agriculture (65%); animal
production (fisheries, poultry and livestock)
(11%) and work focused on the thematic area
of HIV/AIDS (10%). Several of the
organizations that focus on the thematic area
of HIV/AIDS utilize the yields of agriculture to
subsidize the care and treatment of those
affected by HIV / AIDS, particularly in Chkw,
Gaza. Several organizations in Gaza focus their
efforts on this thematic area due to the high
historical rate of infection resulting from the
flow of immigration from South Africa as well
as the practice of polygamy which leaves rural
women in the most vulnerable situation.



Civil Society





Fig. 2 Key Informants





The universe of organizations mapped in the

first phase, 12 organizations in each province,
namely, Tete, Cabo Delgado and Gaza, were
selected for the qualitative phase of data
collection through focus group discussion.

When organizing the organizations by

province, it was possible to register that a
large number of rural women organizations
resided in Gaza, Cabo Delgado and Sofala. For
this reason, in addition to socio-economic and
cultural profile, the first two provinces were
selected for second phase of the study (the
focus groups phase). Although Tete composed
of only 5% of rural women organizations
identified and systematized in the first phase
of the study, its inclusion in the second phase

12 See complete list in Annex 2.


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

2.3 Focus Groups Analysis:
2.3.1. Analysis of Organizations





Given the nature and objective of the rural

women organizations mapping study, it was
deemed imperative to explore and define the
operational concept of rural women. From the
discussions in the focus groups, a clear
concept on the matter did not emerge.
Geographical and cultural differences were
not reflected in the definition given. For
women of the northern regions of the country
(Cabo Delgado), center (Tete) and South
(Gaza) their main identity is the fight to
elevate the condition of rural women
(through their organizations).

Fig. 3 Tete




This perception is shared by women who

define themselves as farmers and residing in
an urban area as denoted thought the phrase:
Rural Woman "is a peasant woman in the
countryside, we are urban woman who live in
towns, but we do not forget the others in the
field, and we can help and work with other
women" (Tete interview).


What unites rural women, despite the

different objectives of the work of
organizations, is the recognition that
inequality, disease and poverty has a greater
impact on rural women. They recognize the
difficulties women encounter in decisionmaking processes, many do not know their
rights and "often do not know they are
entitled to have access to certain resources.
Women do not even control their bodies.
They depend on what men voice, they cannot
complain, have a weak voice. It is machismo."

Fig. 4 Cabo Delgado




Who are rural women?

Elderly poeple
/ Children

In Cabo Delgado, when asked about who are

rural women, the women interviewed
identified rural woman to be a peasant
women, one who lives in remote
communities: "rural woman is from distant
places, the survival of the rural woman is
based on the use of hoe. Rural women have
agriculture as their main source of income"
(Metoro- Cabo Delgado Interview).
In Gaza, the group was more specific and
defined a rural woman to be a woman which
faces many challenges to have autonomy and
power. "Rural woman have to kneel to have

Fig. 5 Gaza/ Chokwe


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

group sessions, seven were not legally
established. Organizations face numerous
obstacles such as state bureaucracy,
corruption and low visibility and importance
given to the organizations. The organizations
recognize that in face of difficulties, they were
unable to create coping strategies. On the
other hand, in Cabo Delgado rural women
organizations collaborated and designed a
collective action to legalize rural women
organizations. The FOCADE (Cabo Delgado
Organizations Forum) massively supported
the legalization of organizations. In Gaza, the
high HIV/AIDS rates made a difference in early
2000 gave organizations greater access to
resources for the legalization process from
development agencies.

money to buy a capulana, receives no money

from her sweat" (Chkw- Gaza interview).
They claim that men (husbands, fathers,
brothers and uncles) do not respect women,
forbid to attend meetings, and limit their
time, "when can they learn, when do they
have time? Man arrive drunk, does not brush
his teeth or take off his shoes, and wants to be
intimate with his wife! We need to take the
information to rural women"(Chkw- Gaza
Interview). They recognize several women in
the 'city' live similar situations, but have more
access to information and have changed
habits and customs.
Lessons Learned: In Chkw, the experiences
of rural women with HIV / AIDS sheds light on
the meaning of being rural women in the
context of poverty and HIV / AIDS. In 2002,
campaigns were conducted with a view to
eliminating discrimination and stigma in the
region. Since then the province has strong
interventions to combat the pandemic.
However, organizations consider that many
activists themselves have not broken the

However, in three cases, there are still

roadblocks in the women's organizations
legalization process. Several of the members
of the organizations have difficulty having
access to ID cards. This situation affects more
'rural women from distant places,' because
these are still subordinate to men who think
they have no right to documentation, and
reported that in extreme cases, when they
acquired an ID card, men burnt them.

"At that time, if I said that the children

were orphans of parents victims of AIDS it
would have been a problem - we could not
say. But working with orphans who have
no food was not easy. Now it is not an
emergency, but the problem continues. We
need to eat and we go to farm. We
activists, rural women, are the community
"doctors." We are the first help. Since there
is now HIV treatment advice and support,
the situation has improved a lot. The
situation is very serious. Therefore, there
are many rural women's groups working on
HIV / AIDS and vulnerable peoples, with a
focus on food security for people living with
HIV / AIDS "(Chkw Interview)."

Good Practice: In each province, the legal

status of organizations is presented with
different challenges. On a positive note, in
Cabo Delgado, it was the collective initiative
of civil society, supported by FOCADE, which
facilitated the legalization of organizations.
Collective action facilitates processes and
creates a social pressure on the state
bureaucracy. In addition, collective action
promotes the learning; women can learn from
the difficulties and opportunities reflected in
the collective.
Organizational Resources
In regards to institutional resources, rural
women organizations have quite different
situations in Mozambique. Few confirmed
having received any support resources from
development agencies. Most of the
organizations that participated in the focus
group sessions in Tete reported that most of
their resources are derived from the

Legal Challenges faced by Rural Women

In Tete there are several barriers found in the
legalization of rural women organizations. Of
the 12 organizations present in the focus


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

agricultural product sales from their strategic
collective farms, some savings and credit
experiences, and artisanal jewellery. They also
reported that in some cases quotas have been
organizations related that the resource flow is
irregular and insufficient to meet the needs of
the organization.
One can notice that there is a growing
awareness, at least in discourse, that the work
of the organization must be independent of
external financial assistance. They recognize
the amount of resources that they possess is
primarily dependent on their work and not
from external assistance. However at the
same time, the organizations voice that they
require assistance at least in transportation
and communication.
In Cabo Delgado13, most organizations do not
have their projects approved whether from
the municipal fund or international
cooperation. They report many difficulties in
working in the field: "in order to solve
conflicts, one needs transportation money,
we depend on the project" (Metoro
Interview). Rural women organizations have
positive experiences maintaining and
financing activities with the resources
generated with the sale of products from
collective farms and husbandry products. In
addition, the activities are also financed by an
emplaced money management system: they
benefit from a traditional rotating savings
system, called xitique, which enables them to
keep a social fund to manage the organization
and the social problems that heavily affect the

production. In the late 2000s resources

diminished and the region was hit several
floods, consequently organizations adapted
and evolved. Organizations had to maintain
the projects with alternative resources.
Several organizations developed small income
and savings activities that enabled them
continued to have projects that support
people living with HIV / AIDS.
Recently, the resources from the National
HIV/AIDS Council (CNCS) have begun to
support rural women organizations and their
projects, but the organizations highlight that
they have learnt that they cannot rely too
heavily on external resources.
Good practice: In Cabo Delgado, there is the
example of an organization that worked in the
pottery area that was created with support of
an international development agency. When
the funds ended, the organization took the
opportunity to raise money from the district
development fund ("7 million"). In order to
ensure the sustainability of the organization,
the organization resorted to investing their
sales revenue into a designated savings fund.
The savings fund will be used to cover some of
the expenses of the organization and support
to members. The fund can also generated
greater access to markets, as shown in the
following passage:
I knew I had some money, and to sell the
pots I had to go to Nampula. We did a project
and we submit it to the administration,
received a small first loan and we managed to
repay the loan. But we continued believing
that it was good business to sell the pots in
Nampula. We acquired a car, and it is the sale
of pots that pays the bills of the organization
and of our families "(Metoro, Cabo Delgado

In Chkw, 10 of the 12 organizations that

participated in the focus groups focus of work
in the area of eliminating HIV/AIDS and
support to vulnerable populations. From 2004
to 2006, most of the organizations were
legalized and had access to resources
provided by international organizations. In
addition, the substance of the organizations
was based on a quota system and agricultural

Decision-Making in the Organization

In the three focus groups, most organizations
follow a vertical organizational model, some
with a minimum of 10 people to start the
organization. Organizations linked to the
Farmers' Union have a greater number of
members. In smaller organizations the major
governing bodies are composition of three
people while in larger organization there are

In the case of Metoro, the interviews were conducted in February
2015 - weeks after undergoing the effects of floods January / 2015. The
entire northern region of the country had no electricity for several
weeks. In this particular context, they reported that there was no
buyers for your products, lost animals, fish lost by not having ice to
keep them.


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

more than five people in the major governing

de todos os membros acontece uma vez a

cada ano - nas assembleias gerais.

In order to analyse democratic practices, the

question of how is process and dynamics of
the decision-making processes was raised. To
ensure concrete examples, the participants
were asked who in their rural women
organization decided that that specific person
should participate in focus group. The
responses widely variegated. Two dominate
situations were identified: 1) the executive
director or the president of the organization
received the invitation and relay the
information to the person who that she
believed should go to the focus group; 2) the
person of the MMMR network received the
information (in some cases, it was the very
director/chairman/coordinator) and then
relayed the information to management
colleagues. In most cases, the information and
presented the agenda to whom they believed
had the right to participate. Several women
reported that they were merely informed that
they would partake in the focus group,
without having an internal organization
meeting to discuss who should partake in the
focus group. In each focus group, a couple of
good practices were underscored. One being
that some organizations utilized the platform of

Despite the different experiences, there are

common themes emerged in the decision
making processes in the three provinces. In
smaller organizations the decision-making
flow is more collective and have more room
for discussions to occur; they follow tend to
have weekly meetings and quarterly meetings.
In larger organizations, there tends to be more
hierarchical management structure; decisions
are normally top-down with little to no room
for discussion. In these organizations,
meetings with all members present rarely
occur (usually only annual meeting).
In addition, decisions are more centralized in
organizations whose members reside in
different districts. These organizations tend to
have weekly implementation meetings,
monthly coordination meetings, quarterly
governing board meetings and annual
meetings with all members.
It is important to highlight that it is a
noteworthy step forward to have women
participation in decision making bodies and
decision-making spaces at community and
government level. One challenge is to
encourage women to voice their opinions and
ensure that their concerns and views are
taken into account. Currently on one hand,
women are beginning to be more active in
public spaces decisions, but on the other hand
they do not yet openly participate and voice
their ideas. There is still the phenomenon
where women [sit] on the floor and men in
the chair. However, their participation in the
meeting is considered to be an important first
step towards the full enjoyment of their rights.
Now it takes a further step: to ensure that
women participate. For example, the language
used in local community councils must be
understood by women, "we must train, inform
women in order for them to have tools to
voice their opinions, but we also need to

their weekly meetings with all members to put into

question who should in the focus group.

Apesar das experincias diferenciadas, h

dinmicas comuns nas trs provncias, nas
organizaes menores o fluxo de tomada de
deciso mais coletivo, h mais consultas,
seguem dinmicas similares de reunies
semanais, e encontros trimestrais. Nas
organizaes com maior nmero de membros
e quadro directivo mais hierrquico tendem a
ter dinmicas de deciso primeiro na direco
e depois a deciso comunicada aos
membros, muitas vezes, como facto
consumado. Nessas organizaes, o encontro


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

influence the institutions to adapt their
working methods to allow the participation of
all peoples."

"Equality of men and women for the same

purpose the development of rural women"
(Tete Interview).

Lesson Learned: Organizations that are smaller

exhibit more participatory decision-making
processes. For example, savings and fisheries
(Cabo Delgado), women living with HIV / AIDS
(Tete) and the Xitique (Gaza) are organizations
run by women and members were included in
the decision-making process of deciding who
was going represent the organization in the
focus groups. One limitation is that it remains
unclear if experience of such groups is the
pattern or whether singular case. However,
these organizations did disclose that they have
democratic dynamics in their decision making
process; for example, they have greater
information flow, less bureaucracy and more
collective dialogue in decision-making

"Before it was only women because of

gender. Now there are men, but when the
man enters, he brings problems. He wants
to go to South Africa when there are no
funds in the organization. For women the
organization is like church. Man not only
does forced labour, but comes to learn that
despite being a man is human, it is good to
reduce machismo" (Chokwe, Gaza


"Gender is not a woman. There is a need to

change the ideas, change customs. The
weight given to women is still lower than
men, in the social relations in
communities, there are different customs,
men can do everything but it is education
that influence what men and women can
do "(Metoro interview).

Gender Issues:

Is Gender Equality an Organizational Value?

"I think gender is female equality to man

before the woman had no right to speak,
today women know of deny and say
something. In the city, women already
require the use of condoms, the
community it is still a little difficult. In the
field, men says they paid the money for her
to go in the house (lobolo), and women do
not have a voice. Many women live off
agriculture, men consider women to be
hard-working, cheap labour. The bride
price is about eight heads, about 15
thousand, and thus a child of 15 years is
lobolado, it is sad! I was in a village that
had 40 women and three men, she asks
where are the men? And they said, they
are out drinking (Chkw interviews).

Overall, gender issues are inserted in the

rhetoric of the three groups interviewed. The
discourse emphasize that the organizations
aim to fight for women's rights. They advocate
that women should have the same human
rights as men and women should have the
power to manage their resources. However, it
was not possible to ascertain whether gender
equality is a formal concept present in the
mission and vision as well as their work plans.
In all focus groups, only four organizations
reported that gender is not enshrined in their
formal documents. In all groups, most know
that there are laws on women's rights (Land,
Family, Violence against Women, HIV/AIDS
were mentioned), even if it did not know the
formal text. They also knew of the existence of
assistance and protection services for women
victims of violence and used these.

Most organizations reported that they have

undergone some kind of gender training. They
were able to describe some techniques and
methods used in training which included but
were not limited to the division of labour

Summary of discussions about what is Gender

in the voices of women of rural women:


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

roadblocks impede that changes in the
concept of gender and changes in legislation
are reflected equal access to services and
resources for women.

along gender lines, saving and resource

management. However, the discussions that
emerged in the focus groups demonstrated
the existence of contradictions between
discourse and practice. Practices are still
deeply imbedded in the traditional cultural
beliefs. As in the case of myths and
superstitions about abortion (i.e. the idea that
a man will die if he has sex before the first
menstruation of women after abortion dies);
menstruation (i.e. menstruating woman
should not urinate in the fields at the risk of
burning the harvest); and pregnancy (i.e.
pregnant woman cannot enter the farm
without having the navel out to not burn the

Good Practices: In Tete, farmers' union brings

has a woman president and has in effect a
rotating mandate model. The experience of
the president, who has undergone several
trainings on gender, impacts the organization.
She encourages open dialogue at all levels of
management, the inclusion of a gender
agenda in the organization, and fosters
partnership with other women's rights
organizations. She is president of MMMR in
Tete, which shows the integration of networks
for the advancement of rural women.

On Womens reproductive duties (housework

and family) in Gaza, with similarities in Cabo
Delgado, despite the speech of awareness
about gender inequalities, they reaffirmed
that women are the ones who should take
care of the children and, for most (except two
testimonies), women have a duty to prepare
her husband's room, they may not like but
have to do. In Tete, women who did not have
spouses, showed more control over their lives.

Access and Control of Resources

Awareness on gender issues and womens
economic empowerment are aspects that are
not universal accepted in Mozambique, but
already part of the practice and discourse of
the groups interviewed. However, major
barriers have been reported in all provinces:
"Illiteracy among women does encourage
them to have their own resources, the
illiterate man can, but they feel they cannot"
(Tete Interview).
"If a woman goes shopping without consent,
the man says that she spends too. At home,
the greatest responsibility is hers, she gets the
money to pay her children's school, when the
man gets money first passes through the bar.
Women do xitique and help each other to
meet the needs of the children. Even when
you xitique who decides are men"(Chkw
"Women have no property to use as a
guarantee to gain access to credit. Because
we do not have the land in their names, we
have difficulty to get the DUAT. It is not
government's problem, it is the family that
says that woman cannot" (Metoro Interview).

For instance, they had the power to decide

the time to they wished to arrive at home or
when to go for meetings.
On a similar note, it can be said that gender
awareness is a step towards overcoming
significant advances in legislation and access
to institutionalized services. Offices of
assistance to women and children victims of
violence, legal assistance with a focus on
granting land rights (DUATs), and access to
credit are examples of a significant leap for
the promotion and respect for women's
However, they are informal rules in the form
of cultural norms that create roadblocks in the
promotion gender equality experiences. These


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

occupy positions power and have the
authority to manage the organizations
resources. On the other hand, there were
examples of organizations that are composed
mainly of women (with only one or two men);
however, men occupy a leading position or
play a key role managing the organizations
resources due to the fact that they are able to
read and have some project management
skills. In saving organizations and xitique most
the positions of power are occupied by
women and they manage the resources.

"Women are still part of the old culture,

banks make it difficult for those without
experience. They do not explain, do not guide,
and men do not allow women to go to the
bank" (Tete interview).
"For women to have things, they need to
'cater' to men. When a man sees a woman
has something, e perceives her as a
prostitute, I do not know why. The woman
even try, but have to raise money for the
family or the organization. At the end, they
will work for it, gather money and make small
businesses and tidy the house. If the deal
business flourishes, goes man meddles in
business and begins to interfere. Men become
confused it is a difficult process. If he sees
that the business grows, he will want to save
and manage money "(Chkw Interview).

Good practices: The experiences of rural

women organizations focused on savings in
Tete and Cabo Delgado prove to be a success
story. The organizations have had noteworthy
success in the process of access-spend-save
money. The proceeds have been used as a
source income for the members families. In
addition, they have created a platforms that
enable women to develop and excel
organizational skills such as being able
manage significant amounts of money,
calculate interest, amortize debt, etc.

In three provinces, the interviewees recognize

that there are changes. They report the
existence of men who now realize the need
and advantage of a woman managing income.
They say that women are acquiring the tools
and skills needed to manage income. It is a
fact that banks comply with the formal rules
and allow women to open accounts and have
access to credit. Women are able to do so
without being accompanied by men. Another
advancement on the accessibility to financial
services to women has to do with the
explanation of processes of opening accounts,
access to banking products and services in
local languageswhich breaks the language
barrier. Despite advances, the women
highlighted that the main challenge is the
behaviour and cultural beliefs of people in
banks, businesses and community that
continue to promote the culture of not
granting access to the poor and illiterate
who are most women. In addition, the
problem of assuring that women have
guarantee assets still persists.
In Cabo Delgado and Tete,
organizations demonstrated that

In Gaza, organizations have requested cargo

vehicles to facilitate the transport of water. It
is of a good example that women can
overcome 'limits' of physical force using a
device that facilitates their work with less
wear of their bodies.
There was a successful experience in Ancuabe,
Cabo Delgado in which a rural women
organization was able to draft micro-credit
project. A woman utilized the communal
space where women fetch water to meet and
develop an investment project that would
help alleviate the suffering which they faced
"It was tricky, but it was only women, under
the leadership of the appointed deputy
coordinator that could write, that developed a
project and received 100 thousand from the
District Development Fund). We bought a mill
and rented a car from Montepuez to Mesa.



Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

gender and already think differently, but in the
community men are still in front of women."

The driver was a man, but it was the women

sought bamboos and worked alone. It was
only women in the organization and recently a
man joined. The treasurer holds the money
from the sale and amortizes the debt with the
bank. We are 10. Before women did not arrive
on time in the fields, and some worked more
than others, it is different now, we have
parcelled the land and each works at their
own time"(Metoro Interview).


Lesson Learned: Women already know how to

work the dynamics and spaces to forward
their demands for social policies and access to
Challenges Rural Women Organizations Face
Information and education: One significant
barriers to increasing activism of rural
women is the difficulty access to
compensable information. In the three
provinces, there is low access to formal
education and human rights information
by rural women.
Mobility: highlighted was the lack mobility
of women due to the lack of liberty socially
attributed to women. Womens participate
in an activity outside the village or
community is dependent on the husband's
or "family mans" consent.
Resource Control: Limited control of
natural goods and financial resources, as
well as difficulties in accessing markets for
sale of their production. The limitations are
further exacerbated by lack of transport,
lack of knowledge of the markets, and the
need for permission from male family
members for travel. Rural women have
limited power to determine their
productive and reproductive spheres.
Gender Equality: Gender relations are still
perceived as relationships men and
women. The challenge is to move towards
equality and the concept of power
relations. Several rural women reported
that women themselves very often
perceive men to have more strengthen and
to be more and capabilities (including
being more literate) to perform various
activities ranging from driving a car,
construction, and develop projects.


The interviewees reported that several of the

rural women are living in many situations that
embody womens human rights violations.
Despite the significant level of knowledge on
legislation and services among women in the
organizations, they underscored that limited
legal knowledge and access to services highly
prevails in their communities, especially
among women which are not members of
such organizations. The women listed various
difficulties in accessing information in local
languages and obtaining communication
materials geared towards illiterate women.
The knowledge rural women have in regards
to access to land illustrates the progress made
in promoting access to land and control of
production by women. Overall, national
authorities do demarcation of land and its
demarcation greatly benefits women. The
main challenge that women's union
organizations face is being able to disseminate
information and create incentives to develop
the interest of owning landwhich is not
common in the studied provinces. Despite
these challenges, there is an evident increase
in the number of rural women with
knowledge about the equal rights of access to
land of men and women.
One interviewees posed the question: "we
speak of demarking the land, but who owes
the land? They say they were trained in


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

communication spaces are committed to
the cause of defending and promoting the
human rights of rural women.
Organizations: It is noted that there are
many organizations working with rural
women, which broadens the experiences
of working with a gender perspective in
communities. There has been a change in
perception of rural women: from the
image of a rural women being merely a
woman who works the land for her
livelihood, to that of a woman who works
towards advancement of rural women. A
concept that helps to create solidarity and
support between organizations. All
organizations demonstrated the desire and
interest to work in networks and spaces
that advocate for the advancement of rural
advancement in the approach to public
policy on gender issues with a special
regard rural women. In addition, there has
been an expansion of support services
such as care offices to women victims of
domestic violence throughout the country;
legal assistance with a focus on granting
DUATs; expansion of treatment of HIV /
AIDS; among others.

Alcoholism and Violence: There are high

incidences of alcoholism amongst men and
in Mozambique (although
disproportionally affecting men). A
naturalization of violence against women
and girls is evident in Mozambique:
violence against women and girls is often
perceived as being inherent in "our
culture." Alcohol abuse is most often
associated with violence and demise of
family resources.
Epidemics and Natural Disasters: the
difficulties arising from the droughts,
floods and other calamities, reduce
economic initiatives underway and
highlight gender inequalities. In an
emergency context, unequal gender roles
are exacerbated and negatively affect
women and girlsmaking them even more
Mega-projects: The mega-projects appear
create more challenges than opportunities
for rural women. For example, resettled
accessing their farms as they become
physically disjointed from their farms. In
turn, this creates situation in which women
further overburdened. In addition, incomegenerating projects have not yet shown
signs of success, they are moving towards
new productive areas such as livestock and
poultry farming in communities that
traditionally do not practice these
economic activities.

Decision-making: With the growing

participation of women in positions of
power and decision making, there is a
greater advocacy towards the promotion
of and awareness of women's rights. There
has also been an increase in the number of
women leaders committed to the gender
equality agenda.

Opportunities for the Advancement Rural

Women Organizations:
Education and Information: Of the women
interviewed, only two women could not
write and did not have the opportunity to
advance their studies. Several of the
women shared that they still attend school.
Positive stories emerged from the focus
groups that relate that radios and


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

2.3.2 Analysis of MMMR
Mozambican Movement of Rural Women MMMR

MMMRs objective is to create a convergence

platform that fosters socio-economic, political and
cultural empowerment of rural women. MMMR also
seeks to encourage the exchange of experiences
and knowledge, learning and training of women,
professional advancement of women, and advocacy
of gender equality policies at local community level
as well as the governmental levels.
In the context of Community of Portuguese
Speaking Countries (CPLP) Civil Society Parallel
Event, MMMR was created on 27 October 2011 and
is currently following the procedure for its
legalization before the competent authorities. After
the creation of MMMR, the elaboration of the
scripts of the Movement documents (starting with
the Statute)1 soon followed.
The MuGeDe, as coordinating agency, produced the
draft of the Statue which was reviewed and
discussed first by a working group composed of
members of MMMR and partners, and subsequently
provincial delegations provided their inputs. In order
to revalidate MMMRs statute and other regulatory
documents, MMMR hosted a national meeting in
May 2014 in Mumemo in Marracuene district.
MMMR of representatives from each province, rural
women's associations, civil society organizations,
Government and partners attended the national
meeting and participated in the discussion and
validated the MMMRs Statute, which entered into
force immediately after its approval and acquired

answer was affirmative. They identify

themselves as rural women but they stated
that they are no longer suffering like the
others. They explain that women who suffer
are not affiliated to womens organizations or
networks or do not know someone that can
guide to surpass the suffering.
With the exception two organizations, all
interviewees were part of a provincial or
national network, like the provincial and
district Farmers Unions, Land Forum,
FOCADE, Mozambican Forum of Disabled
Women, Women's Forum, Nucleus of
Women's Associations in Tete, networks of
HIV / AIDS, among others. It is noted that in
this collective experience and partnerships
between organizations and networks lies the
strength and opportunity of MMMR.
Regarding the perception of what is MMMR,
several rural women organizations are not
aware of the exact nature and the direction of
movement, but are interested in participating
and learn more about this initiative. They
affirm that the constitution of MMMR is an
opportunity and there is a necessity to think
of the possibilities advance the individual
organizational limits and consolidate and
strengthen the efforts into a single, united
movement. Therefore it is imperative for the
movement to be legalized, registered and
widely recognized.
The context of MMMRs establishment, with
the validation of its Statue, became known by
a small group of rural women, MuGeDe and
focal points that were in involved in the
creation process. The subsequent expansion
step and consolidation brings the challenge to
reverse the process, to create dynamic
movement, where the agenda and decisions is
defined by large group of rural women
organizations. Thus, the fact that all
organizations interviewed show interest to
participate and integrate in MMMR is a
promising opportunity. The expectation is that

The Importance Rural Women to Organize

Themselves in Movement and the Challenges
What it means to be a rural womens
movement is a recurring question in all
discussions. The opinions of the interviewees
can be summarized by "we and the other." It is
unanimous definition that a rural woman is
one that resides in the field and is exposed to
more suffering and deprivation. When asked if
they, as leaders of their organizations,
consider themselves to be rural women, the


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

change the maximum structure and begin to
be heard. Also with diseases such as HIV /
AIDS, women undergo many problems. When
men discover that a woman is HIV-positive,
she loses her home. Men receive all the
income, is it really that women do not have
the capacity? Men receive funds and getting
married to a second wife. The MMMR will help
motivate rural women to not only speak about
law but surpass perceived limitations. Many
rural women do not know Portuguese but is
dynamic. Another specific place in which rural
women need to end poverty is at the home
and not be discriminated by their husbands.
The message of the movement should reach
the poorest of women who have no phone or
poorer road leading to them" (Tete Interview).
One of the MMMRs greatest challenges is
information, most organizations do not have
their own spaces for their work and have
create barriers to their access to information.
The mobile use, despite being recognized as a
great instrument that lifted women out of
isolation, is also limited by access to resources
to airtime vouchers or electricity to change
mobiles. Importantly women possess
awareness of the oppression they suffer and
demonstrate interest to collaborate, through
movement, to strengthen and expand the
experiences of women.

the movement mobilizes, encourages and

brings information (that is not easily available)
to organizations and other networks.
About the motivation behind interviewing
organizations to join the MMMR:
"It is woman's issue, people still think that
women are behind. Women have the strength
to work. [MMMR] is an opportunity to
progress from the experiences of women
without men. Unity is strength, are activities
that can make exchange of experience
together we can improve life. I want to be in
MMMR because I want to be cheerful and
lively, without the men who abuse, to end
what men do. Mozambique is vast, has
different experiences, has different local
resources, the MMMR can help because it is
nationwide and can help women who do not
have the experience, as we are scattered and
do not know how to continue" (Cabo Delgado
"We want to change and the opportunity for
women to change the behaviour and for
women to know their rights. I know this came
from far away, there was a conference. At the
global level, women have been killed for
asking their human rights and labour rights.
This movement arrived late in Chokwebut it
arrived. Women have to have access to credit,
work, and human rightslistened in the
Mumemo rural women conference. The
MMMR statute, approved at the meeting, was
presented. We want to see a difference in the
lives of rural women, how to live in
organizations and how to get rid of economic
dependency and promote self-esteem"
(Chkw Interview).
Women are the target group of domestic
violence within the home. Women have no
voice. Women are serving instrumentsyes
sir' culture. With the movement we will
change a lot. We will know how to intervene
and change what touches the heart and

With the objective of solidifying the

movement, rural women movement faces a
great challenge: the cultivation of concept of
solidarity amongst rural women organization.
The culture of support, unity and equality
among rural women organizations needs to be
cultivated while recognizing the differences of
individual trajectories and experiences of life.
The issue of gossip and situations of
disrespect among the leaders emerged was a
reoccurring theme in the interviews, which
reveals the challenge of building a movement


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

where information and decision-making
processes must be democratic and
transparent. It is an opportunity to set up in
this young movement power mechanisms that
alter the cultural norm on the notion of power
and organizational behaviour.

The MMMR has the opportunity to develop a

different form of power structure that is not
authoritarian and vertical; one that
encourages women to learn how to manage
public space with autonomy, independence
and solidarity.
For the most part, the leadership of rural
women organizations have their limitations
and require technical support before they can
fully contribute to advance movement as well
as take ownership of the Movement. The
MMMR is an embryonic process, MuGeDe in
practice directs the movement. MuGeDe has
the clarity and speech. MMMRs president
does not have the autonomy to direct the
movement. Although she does have the
power to decide who will execute the broads
agenda and it is still in the learning process.

The MMMR has the power to unite and add

value to the existing individual rural women
organizations. MMMR can aid and
continuously strengthen rural women
building a consensus voiceby being
coordinator, mediator of agendas and needs
of women.


Formally establish the MMMR and to act

as a platform.

Mobility: Transport difficulty, scarcity of

locomotion resources, and limitation to
reach all districts - there are associations
everywhere, but it is still difficult to expand
due to the physical distances.
Resources: Focal points have been
appointed, but these face limitations in
finances and materials. The leaders feel
embarrassed by the lack of physical space


for meetings or an office to better organize

the movement.
Information and Communication: Lack of
an organized database on rural women
organizations in which it can easily be
accessed. Dissemination of laws in local
languages is needed. Need to reduce
illiteracy and disseminate information to
remote rural communities. There is poor
communication between the 'city' and the
'field', not only due to resources limitations
but also the culture of not responding
messages in a timely manner.
Gender: Need to create strategies to
address gender and change cultural
traditions that are determinately to rural
women. Weak union of women with a view
harmonizing objectives and promoting
mutual trust.
Decision Making: low ownership over
MMMR and lack of establishment of
dynamic and horizontal channels of
Trainings: Need for trainings on relevant
legislations, gender issues, decision-making
processes, access to and control of
resources, activism, project development
nongovernmental resources.
MMMR Coordination: Need to improve the
ability to listen broadly the interests of
organizations and function as integrative
organization which seeks to give a broader
voice to the struggle of rural women and
strengthen democratic practices. Need to
better present and transform MMMR into
a movement that works in collaboration
with other platforms and civil society
Platform: convergence, creativity, and
activities around themes related to
empowerment of women. Effective
advocacy among rural women, partners
and governments.

Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Movement Under Construction: The
existence of MMMR already is an
The mapping creates
opportunities as it will serve to assist
MMMR expand its vision.
Since not all mapped organizations are part
of MMMR, the process represents an
opportunity for these become part of the
MMMR leaders are in a phase of debate
about responsibilities and power relations.
What constitutes to be a 'leader' or
'president of the movement is still being
defined. What are the dynamics and
practices for decision-making? What are
the priorities? Will the decision making
structure adopt a more horizontal
structure? On a positive note, rural women
organizations are with high motivation to
participate and build MMMR.

3.Conclusions and
The mapping process is an opportunity to
strengthen the Rural Women's Movement of
Mozambique (MMMR) and MuGeDe. The
contacted organizations recognize the
challenges to acquire information of the
nature of rural women organizations. In
addition, they also acknowledge that the
process of strengthening rural women's
organizations is linked to factors of gender
inequality, economic imbalances and historical
social determinants that generate poverty in
the country.

Leaders recognize the limits and

demonstrate the will to find a way to
forward and learn.
MuGeDe has the capacity and national and
international presence and influence to
advance in supporting MMMR.

The fact that there are numerous rural

women's organizations and there are several
national and international organizations that
are willing to provide support and strengthen
them, creates an ideal situation. It is
considered that the organized, group work
(manifested in the form of organizations, in
collective farm, in mixed groups of
production) is a strategy that allows rural
women to gain and maintain control of
resources. For example with collective work,
husbands cannot control the resources
because they are members of the cooperative
or organization.

Some focal points in the field are

charismatic, have strong sense of
leadership and have good oratory skills
which is an asset for MMMR. And can
severe to support and train other focal
Potential partner organizations
interested in seeing initiatives
strengthen rural women.



Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Improve regulatory tools and create
greater awareness and understanding
among rural women about the meaning
and benefits of joining the MMMR.

On a similar note, it is strategic to raise the

power of rural women and create situation in
which by strengthening rural women
organizations, they will be able to further
strengthen themselves. They will be able
recognize their power and practice forms of
being democratic leaders who fight for
women's rights. Thus, organizations of rural
women and the MMMR can be active
participants in national and international
fronts, proposing agendas that propel
improvements in the living conditions and
status of rural women.

The database goes beyond providing

information and knowledge to rural
women's organizations. The fact that
systematized certainly helps to break the
silence and poor visibility of rural
organizations. On this note, the results of
mapping will be presented in a seminar
and the seminar will serve to create a
platform to reflect on type of information
available on rural women movements,
networks, forums and organizations and
this information is communicated and
perceived. In addition, creating a
foundation for the strengthening of rural
women's organizations. The seminar also
seeks to articulate the agendas and
struggles of rural women organizations as
well as inform the public of the economic
rights of rural women.

In order to strengthen the organizations, it

is recommended, though the positive
experiences of organizations and MMMR
movement leaders, deepen reflection on
how cultural norms and gender issues
affect rural women.
Build capacity to articulate an agenda that
mobilizes women to join a united front that
advocates for the respect and protect of
womens rights and the elimination of
gender inequalities. Providing rural women
with the basic tools to foster change at all
levels in the country.

That the product of this work, the mapping

report, the tables with the systematized
information and contact list is sent to all
the organizations contacted. In addition,
simplified brochures should be produced in
order to guarantee that information is
easily accessible to rural women

Clearly convey the role of MMMR in which

the movements "mandate" and "mandate"
of each member organization, partner
organizations and networks should be
clearly defined. Deepen the debate and
reflection on the meaning of being

Make the database readily available on the

Internet in order to encourage ongoing
review and updating data. This will also
permit that rural women organizations gain
greater visibility and will permit that
organizations that work with rural women
have the opportunity to share data.

Promote an open reflection on: What is the

added value brought by the movement?
What are challenges for autonomy and
independence that the movement faces?
What are and should be the decisionmaking mechanisms and collective work
structures? In addition, clarify the roles of
MuGede / MMMR / focal points.


Organizations of Rural Women in Mozambique - Mapping Report

Mobilize the organizations to join the rural
womens movement and create synergies
at all levels from the local administrative
post, provincial post to national post.
Create partnerships and disseminate the
movement, open spaces for dialogue
between public authorities, multilateral
partners, international CSOs, and networks
and forums of civil society organizations.
Suggested Meeting / National Seminar: create
the conditions for dialogue with the forums,
nongovernmental organizations with a view of
defining partners of rural women organization.
More specifically, define which rural women
organizations receive external support though
what kind of partnership and what kind of
partnership/support would be ideal based on
their needs. It will also be beneficial to
develop a support and aid mosaic.

4.Next Steps
The mapping of rural women's organizations
will serve to strengthen the Mozambican
MMMR-Movement of Rural Women, the
MuGeDe, the civil society organizations that
work with rural women, rural women's
associations, rural women's networks, rural
women's forum, Government and partners.
Similarly, the document sets a foundation for
the empowerment socio-economic, political
and cultural life of rural women in
Mozambique, improving their condition, their
status and contribute to the sustainable
development of the country.