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The voice of the women of Mozambique comes to the community courts

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Josina Machel2

There is a date marked on the calendar of Mozambique. A 7 of April, 1971, dying Josina Machel, guerrilla and African heroin who fought for the independence of their country and, at the same time, for the emancipation of the women of their land. From the age of 13, Josina was aware of how colonial education cercenaba culture and the desire for freedom of his people, so he wasn't joining the liberation struggle.

Aged 18, he joined the FRELIMO, the guerrilla group that fought against the colonial power, but it ended up capturing and torturing. A campaign of international pressure got to stay free. In the liberated zone, launched an advanced social programme, until he died 25 years due to cancer.

Since then, Josina is a symbol of female emancipation in Mozambique, one of the poorest countries of the Earth and also a country where 80% women producing subsistence food, but which they have not had the voice that corresponds to them. Therefore, Alliance for solidarity, which works in the North of the country for years, has started a job with the community courts, in rural areas, so that their presence increase.

The project, funded by the Spanish Agency of international cooperation for development (AECID), started in communities of the municipality of Mueda, to the Northeast, near the border with Tanzania that could have crossed the own Josina... Who knows. These community courts are not official bodies but have great authority in the small villages, since they most influential persons, are in general those who already have an adult and advanced age. Your responsibility is resolving conflicts and problems arising in the communities and their decisions tend to be always respected.

However, despite the fact that they have a crucial to decide on an infinite number of subjects, some related to gender violence or with precocious weddings, rarely are women. Thus it occurs in Mueda, where the presence of women is limited to the private sphere, even though many families depend on their work to subsist.

Now you want to change this situation forever. The first step to give a roll-over is being design, both the staff of Alliance for solidarity as of the local organisation MULEIDE, of the first actions of awareness in these courts. Many of them don't even have elected all its components, which hinders their activity, so promote complete their structures, and possibly with women, is a promising horizon.

An element to highlight in order to get it is the particular importance that has the presence of women in conflict resolution, are they involved or are not, as it has been demonstrated in so many places and moments in history.

Projects such as the Alliance is launching in that corner of Africa these days, are fundamental for the Mozambique to obtain the empowerment that Josina Machel was dreaming already half a century ago.


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