U.S Government Shines Spotlight on Gender-based Violence During “16 Days of Activism” Campaign

December 7, 2021 – The U.S. Government, in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the accompanying 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, reaffirms its commitment to ending gender-based violence in Mozambique and around the world. Although there have been many advances in women’s rights in Mozambique, violence against women and girls remains pervasive. More than one third of women have experienced physical or sexual violence, with young women (20–24-year-olds) reporting rates of 42.8 percent. Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. government is supporting several events from November 25 to December 10, to raise awareness about gender-based violence (GBV) and how to prevent it.

USAID is sponsoring the ongoing public awareness campaign, Give Hope to 1001 Rositas, that mobilizes men and women to be more aware of domestic violence, to seek help if needed, and report cases to the authorities.  The campaign was inspired by the life of Rosita Sebastiao Antonio Muchanga, a champion and inspiration in gender-based violence prevention, girl empowerment, and HIV/AIDS prevention. She worked as youth mentor and activist for the U.S. Government-supported DREAMS and Mwanasana projects in Sofala province. Tragically, she was killed by her estranged domestic partner on February 27, 2021. Local organizations Comusanas and PIRCOM are leading this campaign.

Throughout the 16 Days of Activism, the U.S. Government is supporting a range of actions events, including an online discussion on how GBV increases the risk of transmission of HIV; a televised debate co-hosted with TVSurdo on GBV and its effects on people with disabilities; an online discussion of how gender and GBV issues intersect with economic and agricultural policies; and a series of TV interviews discussing positive masculinities, violence in intimate relationships, family planning, HIV status disclosure and other related topic with Mozambican youth activists. During a recent live interview with TVM, USAID Deputy Mission Director Martin McLaughlin said, “All people deserve to live free from the threat of gender-based violence. We want to STOP domestic and intimate partner violence in Mozambique.”

Preventing and responding to gender-based violence is a cornerstone of the U.S. Government’s commitment to promote human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of girls and young women. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential to ending extreme poverty; promoting international peace and security; the growth of vibrant market economies; and meeting existing challenges in the areas of health and education.

The US Government, through the President’s Emergency Plan for HIV and AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), is implementing the DREAMS program which aims to ensure the well-being and lay the foundation for a stable future for girls and young women by ensuring access to health, education, gender norms and HIV prevention.  This program is a key area of intervention for the U.S. Government, so much so that the activities have been expanded this year from 9 to 32 districts.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. Government’s international development and disaster assistance through partnerships and investments that save lives, reduce poverty, strengthen democratic governance, and help people emerge from humanitarian crises. For more information about USAID’s work, visit www.usaid.gov.