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International Partnerships

Megaphones and masks: how civil society activists are adapting to COVID-19 in Mozambique

NAMPULA, Mozambique - Armed with a megaphone, mask and gloves, Denardina Mussa, 25, is on a mission: to encourage women and girls to report violence during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ms. Mussa started working as an activist five years ago. She had heard of many girls who were raped, forced into an early union or murdered in her province of Nampula, Mozambique, and she decided to act.

We have dissuaded families that were about to force their underaged daughters into a union

Denardina Mussa, activist

Sexual and domestic violence is common and tolerated here due to ignorance, but now we are vigilant.

Carlos António Dinis, community leader

About the project

The Spotlight Initiative is a global partnership between the European Union and the United Nations to end all forms of violence against women and girls. In Mozambique, the Spotlight Initiative is led by the Government under the headship of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Action. It is implemented over a four-year period (2019-2022) with a €34 million commitment by the EU, focusing on the priority areas of ending sexual and gender-based violence, eliminating early marriage and promoting women and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights.

*Ophenta (which means “to love” or “to care for” in Emakhuwa language) is a Nampula-based association that supports vulnerable women and girls. Under the Spotlight Initiative, Ophenta conducts social mobilization interventions – such as community theatre and campaigns in bars, markets and public buses – to educate communities about sexual and gender-based violence. Ophenta is part of the Consortium Against Sexual Violence, a partnership of seven women’s organizations working to prevent sexual and gender-based violence under the Spotlight Initiative.