UN Women Executive Director visits Mozambique, calls for women’s leadership in ongoing peacebuilding and humanitarian efforts, and bold commitments for Generation Equality Forum – Mozambique

During her official visit to Mozambique from May 24-26, and ahead of the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka meets with women leaders, government officials, the donor community and young activists to promote women’s leadership. in the Women, Peace and Security agenda, and invites Mozambique to engage in Generation Equality action coalitions.

Date: Thursday, May 27, 2021

During the meeting with Ms. Nyelete Mondlane Brooke, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Actions of Mozambique, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka commended the ministry’s efforts to promote the Generation Equality campaign and called for additional support to secure the bold commitments. of Mozambique before Generation Equality. Grandstand in Paris. The Minister of Gender announced that the Government will commit to two Coalitions of Action, on Gender Based Violence and on Economic Justice.

With civil society leaders, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka discussed the challenges they face in promoting the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Mozambique, as well as their involvement in the process of consolidating the ongoing peace and response to the humanitarian crisis in the north. She commended the efforts of Mozambican women leaders to advocate for much-needed laws and representation of women in public institutions and urged them to continue their work.

“I want to commend you for the many laws that have been passed that have advanced women’s rights in Mozambique. I also want to congratulate you for the representation of women in public institutions in Mozambique. Don’t let it fall. If you pushed it in the public sector, it’s easy to push in the private sector,” she said. “Mozambique has strong women who have been with us, for us, all this time. I think this time you can get up again. We have to make sure we don’t lose the progress we’ve made.”

“We want to make sure that we continue to pass laws on the issues you are working on and that WPS issues in a pact are addressed,” the executive director concluded.

Quiteria Guiringane, social activist of the Young Women Leaders Network, said: “There are reasons for pride in the struggle of women thanks to the sacrifice of activists throughout the country, the pandemic has forced us to reinvent ourselves. Leveraging technology, we used webinars to connect women. Using voice-photos, we presented the challenges of women and girls across the country. We did not celebrate National Women’s Day in a festive environment until our sister’s insecure situation was addressed. Because of our position, the President of the Republic has dedicated April 7 (National Women’s Day) to the women of the province of Cabo Delgado. Platforms on women, peace and security, network of religious women, movement of women-led activists, are rising up autonomously across the country and we have launched the first women’s observatory as a space for dialogue where civil society, parliament, judiciary, government, private sector, media, academia, church leaders come together, a space for producing evidence and accountability to discuss priorities, budget allocation, representation and understanding of different realities.

During her visit, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka also met with various gender equality advocates and leaders, including Ms. Myrta Kaulard, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mozambique, Professor Armindo Ngunga, President of the Agency for Integrated Development of Northern Mozambique (ADIN) and other partners to understand the current situation in the Northern Province of Mozambique and its impact on women and girls. At all of these meetings, the Executive Director urged partners to give greater priority to women, youth and other vulnerable groups given the differentiated and disproportionate impact caused by conflict.

On the second day of her visit, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka participated in the High Level Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action in Mozambique and called for stronger political leadership, increased funding and bold actions to ensure that women’s rights are respected throughout the country. range of peace and security, and to ensure the safety of high-risk women and girls in northern Mozambique.

“The women of Cabo Delgado should not feel alone. In all war situations, women are more vulnerable. They die because they do not carry weapons, their children are displaced, their families are disintegrated,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, adding that “the vulnerability of women is the vulnerability of their families and the whole community”. .

“I would like to point out that at this moment we have almost 800,000 displaced people in the province of Cabo Delgado, around 100,000 have moved to the province of Nampula, several other thousands to Niassa, several hundred to the province of Zambezia . The vast majority of internally displaced people are women. So you can imagine the tragedy for displaced people, displaced women,” said Myrta Kaulard, UN Resident Coordinator in Mozambique.

“The promotion of gender equality is one of the main priority commitments of the Government of Mozambique and the participation of women on different fronts is a fundamental condition for sustainable development. We are aware and it has been mentioned here that women and girls are the first affected in a context of conflict, therefore, an important thing to do is to strengthen the dialogue around peace in the family and community context, d ‘improve assistance to women and girls and other affected groups to help them recover and reintegrate so that they can lead independent lives,’ said Mr. Sansão Buque, Deputy National Director of Gender, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action.

The Executive Director also met with a dynamic group of young Mozambican leaders and social activists during the Generation Equality interactive session, where she invited Mozambique to engage in Generation Equality action coalitions.

“My province has a high rate of early marriage and unwanted pregnancies, so there is a huge responsibility for boys like me to use the Generation Equality platform to engage more boys for behavior change and work side by side. side with feminist activists to eradicate gender-based violence and early marriage,” said Tino Daniel, a young activist attending the meeting.

Another participant, Clara Armando, highlighted the importance of platforms like Generation Equality. “We need more discussions on women, peace and security; it is important to create this forum where young people can express their aspirations.

Listening to their challenges, achievements and aspirations, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said, “I commend the efforts of civil society organizations, and in particular young people, for helping to raise awareness of the increasing vulnerability of women. and girls in Cabo Delgado”. The Executive Director called on them to continue advocating for the rights of women and girls to accelerate gender equality in Mozambique.

The Generation Equality Forum to be held in Paris from June 30 to July 2 will bring together leaders and activists from around the world to make breakthrough commitments under six coalitions for action and the Generation Equality Pact on women, peace, security and humanitarian action. These global, multi-stakeholder partnerships will have impact for women and girls around the world through catalytic initiatives and investments aimed at closing the most critical and persistent gaps in gender equality.

Mara R. Wilmoth