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Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique


Kaarhus, Randi, and Stefaan Dondeyne. 2015. "Formalising Land Rights Based on Customary Tenure: Community Delimitation and Women’s Access to Land in Central Mozambique." Journal of Modern African Studies 53 (2): 193-216.

Authors: Randi Kaarhus , Stefaan Dondeyne


The Mozambican Land Law of 1997 intends to provide flexible rules of access to land, while securing local people's customary rights, as well as equal rights for women and men. Drawing on participant observation during a ‘land delimitation’ process in central Mozambique, this article analyses the complex negotiation ensuing from the implementation of the Land Law in a local community. It shows how the delimitation process provided spaces for asserting – male – roles of power and authority, while local women were increasingly marginalised in the process. By presenting oral testimonies from women in the community, the authors seek to balance the account, providing women's perspectives on the highly gendered character of interests in, access to, and exclusion from land. The analysis ends with the question: What would be required to provide a space for local women to articulate their interests in a secure access to land during the delimitation process itself?

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2015

A Fair Share for Women: Toward More Equitable Land Compensation and Resettlement in Tanzania and Mozambique


Salcedo-La Viña, Celine, and Laura Notess. 2018. “A Fair Share for Women: Toward More Equitable Land Compensation and Resettlement in Tanzania and Mozambique.” Working Paper, World Resources Institute, Washington, DC.

Authors: Celine Salcedo-La Viña, Laura Notess


"This paper examines how gaps in the legal frameworks governing land compensation and resettlement in Tanzania and Mozambique result in exclusionary outcomes for women. It builds on an earlier World Resources Institute (WRI) working paper, “Making Women’s Voices Count in Community Decision-Making on Land Investments,” which examines the regulatory frameworks governing the land acquisi- tion processes and identifies ways to strengthen women’s participation in the decision-making involved. This paper analyzes the subset of regulations that govern the parallel processes of land compensation and resettlement. Like the earlier paper, it stems from a collaborative project by WRI, the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP) Mtandao, the Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA), and Centro Terra Viva (CTV) (in Mozambique). WRI conducted the legal analysis and literature review, with inputs from the country partners; the partners conducted field research, in some of which WRI partici- pated. The project also included outreach activities in the communities studied and with relevant subnational and national government agencies. The goal of the project is to have women recognized as stakeholders in community land governance and create spaces for their engagement in decision-making processes" (Salcedo-La Viña and Notess 2018, 2). 

Topics: Economies, Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa Countries: Mozambique, Tanzania

Year: 2018

An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries


Graham, Jay P., Mitsuaki Hirai, and Seung-Sup Kim. 2016. “An Analysis of Water Collection Labor among Women and Children in 24 Sub-Saharan African Countries.” PLOS ONE 11 (6): e0155981. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0155981.

Authors: Jay P. Graham, Mitsuaki Hirai, Seung-Sup Kim



It is estimated that more than two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) must leave their home to collect water, putting them at risk for a variety of negative health outcomes. There is little research, however, quantifying who is most affected by long water collection times.


This study aims to a) describe gender differences in water collection labor among both adults and children (< 15 years of age) in the households (HHs) that report spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, disaggregated by urban and rural residence; and b) estimate the absolute number of adults and children affected by water collection times greater than 30 minutes in 24 SSA countries.


We analyzed data from the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) (2005–2012) to describe water collection labor in 24 SSA countries.


Among households spending more than 30 minutes collecting water, adult females were the primary collectors of water across all 24 countries, ranging from 46% in Liberia (17,412 HHs) to 90% in Cote d’Ivoire (224,808 HHs). Across all countries, female children were more likely to be responsible for water collection than male children (62% vs. 38%, respectively). Six countries had more than 100,000 households (HHs) where children were reported to be responsible for water collection (greater than 30 minutes): Burundi (181,702 HHs), Cameroon (154,453 HHs), Ethiopia (1,321,424 HHs), Mozambique (129,544 HHs), Niger (171,305 HHs), and Nigeria (1,045,647 HHs).


In the 24 SSA countries studied, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection in households with collection times greater than 30 minutes. We suggest that accessibility to water, water collection by children, and gender ratios for water collection, especially when collection times are great, should be considered as key indicators for measuring progress in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector.

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Girls, Boys, Health, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa Countries: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte D'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe

Year: 2016

'A Good Wife Brings Her Husband Bath Water’: Gender Roles and Water Practices in Nampula, Mozambique


Houweling, Emily Van. 2016. “‘A Good Wife Brings Her Husband Bath Water’: Gender Roles and Water Practices in Nampula, Mozambique.” Society & Natural Resources 29 (9): 1065–78.

Author: Emily Van Houweling


In the Global South, gender roles and relations are closely connected to water collection and use. The aim of this article is to move beyond the simple development associations linking improved water access with women’s empowerment by showing how gender roles, marital relations, and the division of labor are connected to everyday water practices. Ethnographic research took place in five communities in Nampula, Mozambique, during a year when residents endured seasonal dry months and later received a water supply project. This research explores how gender roles and relations are impacted by changes in community water resources, and how these impacts are understood from local perspectives. In rural Mozambique, water collection and use are not only gendered activities, but also practices that shape marital relations and cultural notions of a good wife and mother (Abstract from original source​).

Keywords: africa, development, empowerment, environmental change, gender, Mozambique, water, women

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Households, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2016

Gender Equity and Social Capital in Smallholder Farmer Groups in Central Mozambique


Gotschi, Elisabeth, Jemimah Njuki, and Robert Delve. 2008. “Gender Equity and Social Capital in Smallholder Farmer Groups in Central Mozambique.” Development in Practice 18 (4–5): 650–57. doi:10.1080/09614520802181970.

Authors: Elisabeth Gotschi, Jemimah Njuki, Robert Delve


This case study from Búzi district, Mozambique investigated whether gender equality, in terms of male and female participation in groups, leads to gender equity in sharing of benefits from the social capital created through the group. Exploring the complex connection between gender, groups, and social capital, we found that gender equity is not necessarily achieved by guaranteeing men and women equal rights through established by-laws, or dealing with groups as a collective entity. While there were no significant differences in the investment patterns of men and women in terms of participation in group activities and contribution of communal work, access to leadership positions and benefits from social capital were unequally distributed. Compared with men, women further found it difficult to transform social relations into improved access to information, access to markets, or help in case of need.

Keywords: Gender and Diversity, civil society, Labour and livelihoods, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Civil Society, Gender, Women, Men, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2008

Landscapes of Belonging: Female Ex-Combatants Remembering the Liberation Struggle in Urban Maputo


Katto, Jonna. 2014. “Landscapes of Belonging: Female Ex-Combatants Remembering the Liberation Struggle in Urban Maputo.” Journal of Southern African Studies 40 (3): 539–57. doi:10.1080/03057070.2014.909256.

Author: Jonna Katto


Mozambique's liberation struggle was fought mostly on the terrain of the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Tete. Yet, though the rural landscapes of northern Mozambique are intrinsically tied to the country's national history, the public commemoration of the struggle in the present-day context is a state-led narrative more closely linked to the urban experience of the predominantly male political elite. In this article, I explore how female veterans living in the national capital, Maputo, in southern Mozambique, conceptualise national space and belonging, and construct its gendered meanings. Though significant numbers of girls and women were mobilised by the FRELIMO guerrilla army to fight in the struggle, to date little research exists on women's accounts of their experience. This article is based on life-history interviews conducted in Maputo with female war veterans in 2009 and 2011. On the one hand, I show how the abstract space of the nation is made sense of and personalised through the women's experience of the liberation struggle, and further juxtaposed with their current experience of the cityscape. On the other hand, I discuss how the capital city as the spatio-temporal location of the ‘history-telling event’ continues to shape the memory of the liberation struggle, contributing to the enactment of a particular gendered spatiality of belonging.

Topics: Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2014

The Health Consequences of the Mozambican Civil War: An Anthropometric Approach


Domingues, Patrick, and Thomas Barre. 2013. “The Health Consequences of the Mozambican Civil War: An Anthropometric Approach.” Economic Development and Cultural Change 61 (4): 755–88. doi:10.1086/670377.

Authors: Patrick Domingues, Thomas Barre


Survivors of a war bear the burden of reconstruction; therefore, understanding the costs of civil conflicts to survivors' health is crucial for the design of postwar economic policies. This article investigates this issue by examining the Mozambican Civil War using an original georeferenced event data set. The results presented here show that fully grown women exposed to the conflict during the early years of their lives have poorer health, as reflected by a lower height-for-age z-score. Using the infancy-childhood-puberty curves, a concept used in the medical literature to study the human growth process, this study demonstrates that this negative effect depends on both age at the time of exposure to the civil war and the number of months spent in the conflict zone. Furthermore, this study finds that the number of months of prenatal civil war exposure has a negative impact on a woman's health, thereby highlighting the importance of prenatal conditions for health outcomes.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Gender, Health, Reproductive Health, Livelihoods, Militarized livelihoods Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2013

Gendered Water Spaces: A Study of the Transition from Wells to Handpumps in Mozambique


Houweling, Emily Van. 2015. “Gendered Water Spaces: A Study of the Transition from Wells to Handpumps in Mozambique.” Gender, Place & Culture 22 (10): 1391–407. 

Author: Emily Van Houweling


In many parts of rural Africa, women and children spend a lot of time collecting water. In the development literature, the water collection task is portrayed as oppressive, arduous, and disliked by women. Eliminating this activity from women's lives is believed to empower them, yet there has been little research investigating what actually happens at the water source or how women themselves perceive the time spent there. This research is based on one year of ethnographic fieldwork in five rural communities in the northern province of Nampula, Mozambique. Over this year, handpumps were constructed in communities where people previously collected water from distant shallow wells and rivers. This article compares the social interactions and activities between the customary water sites and the handpump through the lens of gendered space. The customary water sites are controlled by women and highly valued for their social attributes. While clean water is more accessible at the handpumps, men often regulate access to the technology and social activities are limited. This article contributes to feminist geography and political ecology by showing how differences in the materiality of water spaces interact with local norms to shape social interactions and gendered subjectivities, and how, in turn, men and women contribute to the production and meaning of these spaces. I argue that the handpumps open up new spaces for men and women to negotiate gender roles and (re)define their associations with modernity and development.

Keywords: water, gender, women, Mozambique, africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation, Political Economies Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2015

Gender Responsive Budgeting and the Aid Effectiveness Agenda: Experiences from Mozambique


Holvoet, Nathalie, and Liesbeth Inberg. 2014. “Gender Responsive Budgeting and the Aid Effectiveness Agenda: Experiences from Mozambique.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 15 (2): 61-79.


Authors: Nathalie Holvoet, Liesbeth Inberg


This article examines how gender-equality objectives have been addressed within the context of the Paris Declaration and related aid-reform processes. The focus of the article is on gender-responsive budgeting (GRB), an approach that is being increasingly advanced to increase the gender sensitivity of changing aid modalities, but which has thus far remained understudied. With our case study of Mozambique, we aim to fill this gap. It highlights the contribution of GRB towards increasing the gender sensitivity of national policy documents and budget processes with which donors increasingly (intend to) align, within the context of changing aid processes. Additionally, our study explores the underlying mechanisms that explain the benefits of GRB which makes our findings also interesting beyond the Mozambique context.

Keywords: Mozambique, aid effectiveness

Topics: Gender, Gender Budgeting, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Mozambique

Year: 2014

Gender Responsive Budgeting and Aid Effectiveness Knowledge Briefs


United Nations Development Fund for Women. 2010. Gender Responsive Budgeting and Aid Effectiveness Knowledge Briefs. New York: The United Nations Development Fund for Women.

Author: United Nations Development Fund for Women


This series of knowledge briefs available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese has been produced on the basis of research carried out under the European Commission-supported programme ‘Integrating Gender Responsive Budgeting into the Aid Effectiveness Agenda’. 

The research, which was carried out in ten countries (Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Morocco, Nepal, Mozambique, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda) investigated how gender responsive budgeting (GRB) tools and strategies had been used in the context of aid modalities, such as general budget support (GBS) and sector budget support (SBS).

The research aimed to increase national partners’ and European Union decision-makers’ understanding of the opportunities for using GRB to ensure that aid contributes to the achievement of gender equality goals. The knowledge briefs aim to provide guidance on using GRB tools to integrate a gender dimension into new modalities of aid financing, so that these support the implementation of governments’ gender equality commitments. The target audiences are programmers and policy makers working for national governments, the European Commission, and bilateral donors.

The series consists of 5 separate briefs:

·Introduction to Gender Responsive Budgeting and Aid Effectivenes

· Guidance sheet on ‘How can aid be gender responsive in the context of the new aid modalities? Lessons from gender responsive budgeting initiatives’

· Brief on ‘How do donors collectively address gender issues in their aid management practices at country level?’

· Brief on ‘How do Individual donors address gender Issues in their policy, programming, and financing?’

· Summaries of country reports


Topics: Gender, Gender Budgeting Regions: Africa, MENA, Central Africa, East Africa, North Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda

Year: 2010


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