Mozambique

Population size: 

30,366,036[1]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

Physical and/or Sexual Intimate Partner Violence against women in the last 12 months: 16%. This is the proportion of ever-partnered women aged 18-49 years experiencing intimate partner physical and/or sexual violence in the last 12 months.[2] 20,000 cases of domestic violence were reported in a year but NGOs believed the number of victims to be much higher.”[3]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.


Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

No research.

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

No research.


Current law and policy:

On 3 July 2019, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women reviewed the combined third to fifth periodic reports of Mozambique on the implementation of the CEDAW. The delegation of Mozambique consisted of representatives of the Permanent Mission of Mozambique to the UN office at Geneva, and (via a video-link) representatives of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action of Mozambique. The Mozambique delegation confirms that the Government has set up integrated support services to the victims of violence against women and children and the legal/justice/law enforcement sector personnel had been trained on the protection of women from domestic violence. Further, at a national level, a campaign and an action plan is in place to prevent and combat violence against women and children.


The Mozambique Justice Ministry, the High Court and Constitutional Court, with support from UNDP held a seminar in mid-October 2019 to discuss on its commitments to set up and strengthen its departments to deal with gender-based violence, and to better implement the National Plan for the Prevention and Response of Gender-Based Violence 2018-2021.

According to the Case Study of Mozambique 2019 (by Human Dignity Trust), Mozambique faces a major challenge in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of national domestic violence laws. As there is a lack of reliable data collection on domestic violence complaints and criminal cases compiled by the Attorney General’s office of Mozambique.


Mozambique had adopted a national action plan on women, peace and security and had set up the National Women and Children Office, which provided integrated support services to the victims of violence against women and children and introduced the issue of domestic violence into the training of the police. The Constitution contained the definition of gender-based discrimination, while the upcoming revision of the Family Law would speak directly to the issue of gender-based discrimination.

In terms of access to justice for victims of domestic violence, the delegation stressed that due process was in place while legal aid had been extended to more than 900 victims to assist women victims of domestic violence. Judges, lawyers, paralegals, and other justice sector personnel had been trained on the protection of women from domestic violence.


Gender-based violence was a public crime and anyone could report the cases of violence in their local centres, which reduced the practice of these forms of violence being dealt with within the family. A campaign and an action plan to prevent and combat violence against women and children at the national level was in place and was being implemented in a coordinated manner. It sought to actively involve men and boys in the implementation. Perpetrators of gender-based violence were sanctioned and pursued under the Penal Code.[4]


As part of Mozambique’s effort to deal with gender-based violence (GBV), Mozambique Justice Ministry, the High Court and the Constitutional Court with support from UNDP Mozambique, hosted a justice sector seminar to debate GBV. The seminar also aimed at repositioning the justice sector institutions in setting up and strengthen their departments that deal with GBV.

The seminar, held in Maputo in mid-October 2019, brought together over 80 participants to consider ways in which their respective institutions can better implement the National Plan for the Prevention and Response of Gender Based Violence.

This is a part of the “Spotlight Initiative”, a global program to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, funded by the European Union and the United Nations, and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development 15 (Gender Equality) and 16 (Peace, Justice and Effective Institutions) in Mozambique.


In Mozambique, the “Spotlight Initiative” was launched in March 2019, and is implemented under the Government leadership, involving a Multi-sectoral Gender-based Violence Response Mechanism, namely the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action (MGCAS), the Health Ministry (MISAU), Justice the Ministry, the Constitutional and Religious Affairs (MJCR) and the Interior Ministry (MINT).[5]


Another area that represents a major challenge for Mozambique is the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of legislation. There is No research. that there is a systematic collection and retention of records of the reporting or prosecution of sexual assaults or other sexual offences. The collection of reliable data and statistics on sexual offences is essential for effective monitoring and enforcement. As a result, there is no ability to assess whether the Revised Penal Code is being applied as intended by lawmakers. One example of the lack of reliable data collection is the data related to domestic violence complaints and criminal cases annually compiled by the Attorney General’s office. The numbers provided are not disaggregated by crime, and there are major fluctuations in the numbers from year to year, which suggests that the data collection and compilation processes may be incomplete and inaccurate.[6]


In the Mozambique Report on the Implementation of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing +25) 2019, the Government have pledged to prioritise in the coming years: to address violence against women; and to strengthen the implementation of legislation that protects the rights of women and girls (i.e. the Law on Domestic Violence); adoption of legislation on early marriages; strengthening the implementation of legislation that protects the rights of women and girls, especially the Law on Domestic Violence; improvement of institutional coordination mechanisms, which include a holistic, more dynamic and inclusive approach (involving the active participation of other actors among cooperation partners, civil society in the broad sense, private sector and academia and private sector); strengthening economic empowerment and job creation and livelihoods for women; and set up monitoring indicators to measure the SDG progress.


Regarding to this dimension, the main actions focused on the following priorities: (i) domestic violence, including sexual violence; (ii) sexual harassment and violence in public places, educational and employment environment; (iii) early and forced marriages; female genital mutilation; trafficking of women and children. [7]


Public spending - Between 2005-2008, the cost in Maputo, Matola, Beira and Nampula was estimated at US$1,473,828.7. It is clear that violence against women programmes is a significant amount of the state budget. [8] Of the budget allocated, the health sector absorbed about 81% of the amount, justice 17%, and organizations working in the area of prevention with 2%. Although calculated costs represent an estimate, it is clear that VAW consumes a significant amount of the state budget. Estimated value is much higher than the budget allocated to the National Action Plan for Prevention and Combat of Violence Against Women. This analysis should be interpreted carefully as this study covered only the four main cities of the country, for 4 years and not for the 5-year period covered by the National Plan of Action for the Prevention and Combat of Violence Against Women, 2008–2012. The inclusion of an additional year in the calculation would raise the global amount from US$1,473,828.7 to US$1,842,285.9. Extrapolation to the whole country would again raise the estimated value to an amount higher than US$8,333,333.3, as the four cities considered in this study (Maputo, Matola, Beira, and Nampula) represent less than 20% of the Mozambican population (Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2017). As remaining areas of the country do not necessarily have the same characteristics as the four main cities of the country, extrapolation should not be carried out by merely assuming a linear and straightforward relation of costs and variables involved. [9]


“It's important to take into consideration that in Mozambique people are still allowed out, they can still carry out their activities under our confinement measures, others cannot, which can contribute to domestic tensions we see reported in international media” said Lurdes Mabunda, head of the Office of Assistance to Family and Minors - Victims of Violence. [10]


The WHO launched a ‘Flash appeal for COVID-19 in Mozambique”. The appeal sets out key actions to address the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse: build capacity and information to all staff, partners and relevant personnel on a regular basis and adapt it to changing working models, ensure a reporting mechanism and the specific needs of all people are addressed e.g. disabled peoples, incorporate clear messages and ensure this is disseminated effectively at health services, women and child friendly spaces, refer concerning cases to the relevant agency for investigation. [11]


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Mozambique”, (evaw-global-database.unwomen.org)

[3] “Mozambique 2018 Human Rights Report”, (Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018)

[4] United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR), “Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women examines reports of Mozambique”, (3 July 2019)

[5] UNDP Mozambique, “Mozambique strengthens its justice sector to deal with Gender Based Violence”, (31 October 2019)

[6] The Human Dignity Trust, “Reform of Discriminatory Sexual Offences Laws in the Commonwealth and Other Jurisdictions (Case Study of Mozambique)” (2019)

[7] “Beijing +25 Mozambique Report on the Implementation of Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action” (2019)

[8] S. Tchamo, M. Mucambe, G. José, B. Manuel & G. Mataveia, “Economic Costs of Violence Against Women in Mozambique” (26 January 2020)

[9] S. Tchamo, M. Mucambe, G. José, B. Manuel & G. Mataveia, “Economic Costs of Violence Against Women in Mozambique” (26 January 2020)

[10] UN Women, “UN Women in Mozambique and protection authorities monitor gender-based violence amid COVID-19 confinement measures” (8 May 2020)

[11] OCHA, “Flash Appeal for Covid-19 Mozambique” (June 2020)