Soico Group pushes further into digital: STV play launch and new image for O País
Twitter Antone Chevrier (Courtesy photo)
Mozambique’s international cooperation partners on Wednesday guaranteed they will continue to make finance available for awareness campaigns against child marriage and other problems that afflict Mozambican girls.
This joint promise came from the Canadian High Commissioner, Antoine Chevrier, and the deputy chief of mission at the Swedish Embassy, Mikael Elofsson, speaking at the opening session of the National Girls’ Conference, held in the central city of Quelimane.
“We shall continue to guarantee various lines of long term financing, thanks to the bilateral relations with the Mozambican government, which have lasted for more than 40 years”, they said.
Chevrier said that the problems of child marriages, early pregnancies and dropping out of school are among the ills that are holding girls back. He said that the Canadian government approved new projects in 2016, particularly for Zambezia and Nampula provinces, where the situation of girls is “critical”.
“In addition to the programmes, we want political dialogue with the Mozambican authorities, civil society organisations and all the other international partners so that together we can draw up mechanisms to reform Mozambican legislation, notably the family law and the penal code”, he added.
As for the available funding, Chevrier said that about 67 million Canadian dollars (around 54 million US dollars) is available. Part of this sum has been allocated to activities already under way.
“We don’t have exact amounts, because we have some projects under way and others that have yet to begin, but in general Canadian cooperation in Mozambique has an annual disbursement of a little more than 67 million dollars,” he added. Much of this will be channelled to programmes of advocacy on the need to reduce gender inequalities in access to education, health and other socio-economic benefits.
“I am pleased with the level of implementation of activities”, said Chevrier. “They are having positive effects notably for the beneficiaries of the health component in Cabo Delgado, Nampula and Zambezia provinces”.
Chevrier and Elofsson agreed that Mozambique is making significant advances in the political, legal and institutional framework regarding issues of gender.
“With child marriages, we recognise that the country has shown a high level of commitment to eliminating this evil, and to participate actively in approving the relevant legislation in the southern African region”, they said.
But they stressed that challenges remain, that require greater attention in order to remove the incentives parents have to marry off their daughters at a young age.
According to the 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (IDS), about 48 per cent of women aged between 20 and 24 married before the age of 18, and 14 per cent before their 15th birthday.
The country’s best-known activist for children’s rights, Graca Machel, stressed the need to raise awareness among families of the damaging effects of child marriage. Greater investment needed to be made in changing attitudes within the family, and indicating the danger that such early marriages pose for girls.
“You don’t need a community meeting to decide whether a particular girl should get married”, Machel said. “The decision on this comes from the family”.
Machel wanted to see Mozambican law made tougher, to criminalise child marriage and sexual harassment.
Girls attending the conference said the mechanisms created by the government, such as “green lines” in the schools through which victims can report sexual harassment, are not working. Denouncing cases of sexual harassment in schools had not resulted in improvements, and the offenders remained unpunished, they said.Source: AIM
German company wins contract for identity documents - Mozambique
Malaria claims 1,700 lives in less than two years in Mozambique - MISAU
Education: Mozambique "wins" US reinforcements
"We need an energetic response to the Mocímboa case" - Mia Couto