USAID Mozambique Factsheet: Gender Equality and Female Empowerment

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Mozambique ranked 181st out of 188 countries in the 2015 UNDP Human Development Index, and 139th out of 159 countries in the UNDP Gender Inequality Index.1 Extreme poverty and the HIV/AIDS epidemic have contributed to the precarious status of women and girls in the country.
Low levels of education, high maternal health risks, pressure to marry at a young age, limited economic prospects, gender-based violence, and accepted cultural norms place women at a high disadvantage.

Few girls finish primary school (46%), even fewer finish secondary school (22%), and 56% of women are illiterate (upwards of 70% in rural areas).2,3 Though women comprise the bulk of the unskilled workforce, especially in agriculture (63%), their work is largely unpaid, and they face many obstacles and discrimination because of strongly held beliefs about gender roles.4 The media reinforces negative stereotypes by portraying women as deserving of violence, and overlooks gender issues by not providing in-depth coverage.5 High HIV infection in young women and adolescent girls (11%)6 when compared with men and boys of the same age, combined with maternal, newborn and child mortality lead to a grave health situation for a large portion of the country’s growing population.

USAID/Mozambique works to achieve gender equality and female empowerment through crosssectoral initiatives dedicated to improving educational opportunities for women and girls, encouraging the coverage of women’s issues in the media, supporting women farmers, expanding economic opportunities for women, and improving the quality of healthcare for women and adolescent girls, including nutrition services, family planning, gynecological care, child health services, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.