Women empowerment: an emergence or urgency to save Mozambique from absolute poverty?
Photo by Sobia Zia, 2021
You must be asking yourself. Why is it an emergency to empower women, and how can she save Mozambique from absolute poverty?
What would Mozambique and Africa be like if women were empowered?
Hello, my name is Guilhermina Noronha, and I want to take the next 5 minutes to lead you in this reflection about women empowerment.
Would it be fair to say that hunger is an emergency in the face of the tears of a prematurely married girl and that in addition to exposure to various forms of violence, she is still hungry?
Or that reducing the number of deaths from hunger is definitely an Urgency of the century because if on the one hand, the number of millionaires grows in the world and especially in the African continent, the number of people who live in hunger also increases in an even greater proportion. It would also be funny to overlook the growing number of premature marriages globally and on the African continent.
Photo by Kalu Ndukwe 2021
UNICEF (2021), showed that the first 20 countries most affected by premature marriages are African, with Nigeria, a country rich in natural resources, leading in the first position and Nicaragua in the last position, Mozambique is in 11th position, the same happens when we look at the levels of poverty, the poorer the more social inequalities we have (UNICEF, 2021).
According to African Region (2021), the World Food Program announced that Women and children are the most hungry among the approximately 45 million people threatened with food insecurity in the 16 states – at the level of sub-Africa. The number of people at risk reaches 45 million; Mozambique is one of the 8 countries most in need today (African Region, 2021).
The WFP has announced that it has only 41% of the 489 million dollars it needs to feed people in crisis or emergency levels in eight South African countries (WFP,2020).
This means that if the WFP had all the value, each person would have at least 1 dollar to feed themselves, but they only have 200 490 000 dollars, which means that each country would have just over 25 million this 2020, to feed more than 500 million people, on a continent with a total of 1.216 billion inhabitants.
WHY IS IT AN EMERGENCY TO EMPOWER WOMEN?
Women make up the majority of the world population, with 58 per cent.
According to JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (2015), 90% of Mozambican women work in the agriculture sector, from which they get their food, dedicating themselves to informal trade at the local level, which drives and maintains the economy of many African countries. But if women are the majority of the population and their work is devalued in the labour market, and several difficulties are imposed so that their level of performance and income does not consequently increase, family incomes have remained low for entire generations, especially in Mozambique, where the absolute poverty continues to kill than any other disease including HIV AIDS and others.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (2015) conducted research in Mozambique and found that 21.5 per cent of women aged 25 to 44 years old completed higher education against 15.6 per cent of men in the same age group, but there was ¾ of male income. These data show that the gender discrimination and inequality index still prevails on large scales worldwide (Japan International Cooperation Agency, 2015).
Japan International Cooperation Agency (2015) also shows that even today, Mozambican women occupy fewer vacancies than men in the labour market, focus on specific sectors and receive less even exercising the same function. Besides, most of them are exposed to violence, such as moral and sexual ones. And the greater the schooling, the greater the inequality. Women with higher education or more receive about 63 per cent of what men in the same situation receive. Only last year, Mozambique reached 37% of women holding a set in the national parliament.
For example, in Mozambique, women, especially those who live in rural areas, live based on cultivation, which is the only food source. If they had access to education and were empowered, they would transform the only source of income into an enterprise and use it to empower their communities, take accountability as educators, and provide better living conditions.
Furthermore, empowering women benefits their families, community, and country. Therefore, the participation of women in equal conditions is fundamental for the social, economic and sustainable development of a family, community and parents. In addition to transforming her life, the empowered woman contributes to the development of society.
The World Child State, published by UNICEF (2019), showed that in Mozambique, 1.5 million girls get married before the age of 15 and 5 million before the age of 18. To be precise, in the province of Niassa, at least one in five girls got married before the age of 15, in a universe of 29,892 girls, which means that most of the manpower that would be useful in the next ten years, taking care of native lands, natural resources, innovating with technologies is now devalued.
And the question is:
HOW WILL WE DEVELOP A COUNTRY AND CONTINENT IF THE NATIVES AND LANDOWNERS HAVE NO CONTROL OVER TECHNOLOGIES, NO CONTROL OVER THEIR BUSINESS IN THE 5G ERA?
This is why I think it is an emergency, if not an urgency, to empower Women to save Mozambique and the African Continent from Absolute Poverty.
Looking at this scenario, if we bet on the empowerment of women and girls subjected to premature marriages, we would have:
- Reduction in the number of women submitted to premature marriages;
- The number of people affected by absolute poverty in Mozambique and Africa would decrease;
- Gender discrimination and inequality would reduce;
- We would have more women studied and collaborating for the country’s economic development to reduce absolute poverty in Mozambique and Africa.
WHAT WOULD MOZAMBIQUE AND AFRICA BE LIKE IF WOMEN WERE EMPOWERED?
Photo by Carina Box
Or we do better ask ourselves:
IF WOMEN WERE EMPOWERED, MOZAMBIQUE AND THE AFRICAN CONTINENT WOULD BE MORE JUST AND EGALITARIAN?
Maybe yes, maybe not, it all depends on what kind of education is given and how we guide society. There is a need to change the paradigm of blaming the victim for investing in human capital; we need to understand that the world is no longer the same after wars and political games that have been imposed worldwide, with the most vulnerable groups paying the most expensive bill. The world must be attentive to attempts at slavery to vulnerable groups.
That is why these vulnerable groups must be trained and put on the table as field players and not as bank players. After all, a good captain knows that a boat with 20 oars needs at least 18 good sailors and rowers to get him to a good port.
Join us using the hashtag #betterplace4her, #women4future and #equality4women and promote women empowerment in your community, making the world a better place.
UNFPA-UNICEF. (2019). UNFPA–UNICEF Global Programme to End Child Marriage. Franco: UNFPA-UNICEF. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/media/88826/file/Child-marriage-Mozambique-profile-2019.pdf
JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY (JICA). (2015). Country Gender Profile: Mozambique Final Report. JAPAN DEVELOPMENT SERVICE CO., LTD (JDS). Retrieved from https://www.jica.go.jp/english/our_work/thematic_issues/gender/background/c8h0vm0000anjqj6-att/mozambique_2015.pdf
Africa Region. (2018). “Strong but not Broadly Shared Growth” Mozambique —Poverty Assessment—. Africa Region. Retrieved from https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/248561541165040969/pdf/Mozambique-Poverty-Assessment-Strong-But-Not-Broadly-Shared-Growth.pdf
UNICEF. (2021). Multidimensional Child Poverty in Mozambique. UNICEF. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/esa/media/9311/file/UNICEF-Mozambique-Child-Poverty-Report-2020.pdf
Ndukwe, K. (2021). The Maternal Mortality Rate in Nigeria (2021 report) – HopeAlive Health Initiatives. HopeAlive Health Initiatives. Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://hopealivehealthcare.org/maternal-mortality/.
Zia, S. (2021). Women Empowerment and its Importance – Help Women. Help Women. Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://helpwomen.net/what-is-women-empowerment/.
Box, C. (2021). New resources on the gender gap in computer science. Google. Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/code-with-google/gender-gap-computer-science/.