Fórum Mulher

Fórum Mulher

Maputo

Fórum Mulher, a women’s rights network in Mozambique, promotes women’s autonomy and solidarity, and advocates for women’s economic, social, reproductive, and political rights through coalitions at the local, regional, and national levels.   

Partner Focus Areas

Ending violence against women
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
Education for girls
Economic autonomy

Partnership Highlights

Partner since 2014
Outreach to Brazil, Angola, and Cape Verde
Civil society strengthening
Women's leadership and participation
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Mozambique TOT 2015
A facilitator reads a passage about communication skills in a Forum Mulher training of trainers workshop.

About Fórum Mulher

Founded in 1993, Maputo-based Fórum Mulher is a network of individuals and civil society organizations who are participating in national and international social movements to defend gender equality and women's human rights, and who are promoting economic and socio-cultural transformations. Fórum Mulher works to strengthen the capacities of its members to improve Mozambican civil society. Its advocacy and programs focus on women’s political participation and movement building, women’s economic autonomy, sexual and reproductive rights, and ending gender-based violence. Through its ongoing advocacy, Fórum Mulher is helping to shape the new family law in Mozambique, giving greater recognition and protection to women and girls. Fórum Mulher works with grassroots and rural women, activists, academics, political candidates and parliamentarians, and journalists, among many other constituencies working for a more just society.

Fórum Mulher began collaborating with WLP Brazil/CEPIA in 2012 through WLP's Lusophone regional training initiative, and formally joined the WLP partnership in 2014. Since then, Fórum Mulher has continued to work closely with the Lusophone network and to integrate WLP’s methodology and curricula into its trainings and advocacy campaigns with national women’s rights NGOs. Fórum Mulher works primarily in Portuguese.

Recent Accomplishments

  • In 2013-2014, the education and lobbying efforts of Fórum Mulher and other civil society organizations resulted in the revision of Mozambique’s penal code to allow legal abortions under some circumstances. Under the new provision, abortion is legal up to the 12th week of pregnancy, and for extraordinary circumstances, such as an abortion after a rape, abortion is now legal up to the 16th week.
  • Over the last five years, Fórum Mulher has collaborated on successful campaigns to reform the Mozambique penal code, revise the Southern African Development Community (SADC) gender protocol, and increase women’s land rights.
  • Fórum Mulher has campaigned in solidarity with women activists working towards the rights and freedoms of the people from the Western Sahara, conducted public events during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, and participated in actions on the 24th of April commemorating the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in which over 1,100 garment workers lost their lives. 
Mozambique TOT 2015 2
A group of participants discuss women's roles in politics and ending gender-based violence during a Forum Mulher workshop in Maputo.

Organizational Programs and Activities

Ending Violence against Women

  • Through education, training, and participation in mobilization campaigns, Fórum Mulher influences decision-making bodies and public opinion on gender discrimination and policy changes to reduce gender-based violence.
  • Fórum Mulher is hosting a competiton, in collaboration with MISA Moçambique and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), for the best research and writing on the impact of Mozambique’s 2009 Domestic Violence Against Women Act. The aim of the competition is to support small print, radio, and video investigative projects that expose cases and the causes of domestic violence in Mozambique.

Sexual and Reproductive Rights

  • Fórum Mulher’s advocacy has focused on decriminalizing abortion, and educating decision-makers and the public about the negative social impact and harm to women that comes about when victims of rape are forced to marry their abusers.

Political Participation

  • Fórum Mulher works with civil society organizations, networks, and campaigns that are pressing for policies that reduce poverty, improve social justice, and integrate gender equality. Fórum Mulher provides training and support for women who run for political office, and monitors municiple elections to evaluate their fairness. Moreover, Fórum Mulher reviews and reports on Mozambique’s compliance with international agreements and national gender policies that promote the interests of women and girls.

Institutional Capacity-Building

  • The Fórum Mulher network is made up of 35 civil society organizations. Fórum Mulher works with these organizations and their constituents to build their organizational and leadership capacity through direct support and training.

Gender and Economic Equality

  • Fórum Mulher’s economic equality efforts are multi-pronged. Fórum Mulher works with rural women organizers, and particularly the Rural Women’s Forum (FOMMUR), to increase land rights for women. Fórum Mulher advocates for women’s access to credit and savings and other strategies to improve women’s economic autonomy. And, Fórum Mulher promotes women’s engagement in trade unions, in particular for women in job sectors that are largely unregulated and underpaid, such as domestic workers.
We engage a lot in political education because we think that political education will build a woman’s identity and her capacity to analyze her context. [We want her] to be able to challenge her context and to be able to think of what alternatives there can be for women.

,Coordinator, International Secretariat of the World March for Women (WMW)

About Mozambique

  • Population: 29 million
  • Located in Southeastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Large-scale emigration, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the Mozambique's development until the mid-1990s.
  • Despite the influence of Islamic coastal traders and European colonizers, the people of Mozambique have largely retained an indigenous culture based on small-scale agriculture.
  • Mixed legal system of Portuguese civil law and customary law; in rural, predominately Muslim villages with no formal legal system, Islamic law may be applied.
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 28.4%, Muslim 17.9%, Zionist Christian 15.5%, Protestant 12.2%, other 6.7%, none 18.7%
  • Citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Mozambique.
  • Seats held by women in national parliament: 40%
  • Labor force: 54.8% female
  • Female literacy: 45.4%
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