Transcripted and translated by João Pedro do Vale Regis
WSF is in the air! 2018 down in Bahia. Weekly web radio program of World Social Forum, which next worldwide edition will takes place from March, 13 to March, 17 of 2018, in Salvador, Bahia. WSF in the air it’s a realization of the shared communication corporate of World Social Forum, transmitted by “Democracia no ar” web radio of São Paulo.
Routine violence and harassment even because of clothes. Why does women still deal with it nowadays? Elisa Comé, from MULEIDE movement of Mozambique, tells Damian Azar from Vida Brasil about how to deal with it:
-“I am here with Elisa Comé, who is a young feminist, from Mozambique, at the V National Conference of Mozambique’s Civil Society Organization. Elisa, could you tell me, tell us, a little bit about your organization and about the problematic? The woman and gender issue here in Mozambique?”.
-“I am Elisa Comé, I work at Woman Association in Development, which is an association that works with the violence issue based on gender. MULEIDE has 25 years of existence; it is the first feminist organization to promote the equity of gender issue, especially on the battle against the violence related to gender. We work in many areas and themed, in Human Rights and Citizenship, generally of woman (sexual and reproductive rights). I, at MULEIDE, work as a communication officer. I’m there for years. Beyond of being a MULEIDE’s officer, I’m a contributor in a journal of my city. It’s a private journal, called “Jornal Savana”. As a feminist, in terms of challenge, what I feel like it’s been happening in my country, down here in Moçambique, still being a country in development, is that women has been meeting plenty of times with a lot of problems, due to violence, related on gender, mainly based on cultural issues, because my country’s culture has been used as a barrier to lock the women rights.”.
Elisa explains that in Mozambique still exists the habit of force girls to marry older men. For her, that’s a violation of Human Rights:
-“As it knows, down here in Mozambique, in a world level, is the 10th country to occupy the position of premature marriage, which is a worrisome situation because it still makes the perpetuation of Human’s Rights violation of the little girls. In almost the whole country, despite here in Maputo city, in the other provinces, the girls are forced to marry with 12, 12, 14 years with older people, claiming to culture questions and mainly poverty. As it knows, as well, Moçambique is a third world country, where the poverty persists and due to it, the Human’s Rights are violated and justify by poverty, culture and other issues related to patriarchy because woman still hasn’t the conscience of your rights and unfortunately the institutions aren’t prepared or worry about the gender equity issue. “.
She comments about a few advances in her Country, but criticize the Government by the neglect on the accomplishment of the Law and for the lack of severe punition for men who violate girls:
-“Although the existence of legal instruments, which are in order to being approved by the Government –recently we had the National Strategy Against Premature Marriage, that has 5 years of duration, since 2015, been implemented in 2017 and ends in 2019 – the Ministry that custody, which id the Gender, Child and Social Action Ministry, until here defend that the Strategy isn’t been implemented on your totally as it should be, because of the inexistence of budget for it. In spite of the existence of the laws, that exist and cannot be afford or implement, we aren’t talking about nothing, we’re still on zero. There is no instruments. Mozambique has a lot of international pacts, such as the universal declaration of Human Rights, the Child Rights, but unfortunately a lot of those protocols aren’t been implemented because the Government doesn’t give priority to those gender questions, unfortunately. The violence issues, even with the works done by Civil Society Organization, unfortunately the violence issue did not get low, in that case the men, doesn’t get the reasonable penalties. The sentences goes from 2 to 3 months, what makes a person, when go out of the jail, commit the same mistakes that did before, or even worse, sometimes they can pay and nothing really happens. The harassment issue on schools are very worrisome, but unfortunately, it’s not something that worries the Government. Recently, we had a case with the Education Ministry, where the justify that violence happened because the girls, in Maputo City, were wearing short skirts and then they should change the school’s uniform. It’s happening on public schools, the girls are now wearing long skirts because the teachers are violating the girls because of their vestment, which isn’t the true for us, it’s not true at all because even after implementing that rule, more than a year from now, it didn’t changed anything, the violence belongs. It’s not a skirt problem, a vestment problem, it’s a behavior problem and a legislation as well, which its own application is ineffective.”.
The young feminist accentuate the importance of sharing experiences and the opportunity of articulation that World Social Forum gives.
-“What do you expect from World Social Forum, Elisa?”.
-“From World Social Forum, I hope first of all that Mozambique join it, someone from Mozambique goes for it. That represent Mozambique and in that Forum can share some of the challenges that we have as a country. The Forum will aggregate many people from different organizations worldwide, feminists and other Human Rights activists, not only of gender, but plenty others components. I hope Mozambique can learn lessons and based on them, implement on our country and share with the others good experiences that we had, because Mozambique is such a new country, the Civil Society Organizations aren’t that strong yet, consistents and the feminist women still resent because the context is not favorable, but the battle keep going, we women are not going to give up. I hope Mozambique take part of the Forum and hope that the Forum become a great opportunity to improve the life in the world, and that Woman Rights, mainly, become respected and also that women can, in that Forum, share their experience between them and build a solidarity tie so they can together walk forward.
-“Elisa, I found it all very interesting, it made me remember in a certain way our debates down in Brazil and worldwide as well, we talk about a women revolution ongoing and hear all of it from a young feminist, like you, very active, dynamic with a very fine discourse, it makes me fell that, yeah, the women revolution are ongoing, isn’t it? Even if the sexism, patriarchy, conservatism are still rolling the world and here in Mozambique as well. But I thing it’s essential, We hope to see you guys there to bring that same voice, in Salvador, Bahia. Thank you, I appreciate, Elisa and we are all together, woman and man as one.
WSF in the air it’s a realization of the shared communication corporate of the World Social Forum, transmitted by “Democracia no ar” web radio, of São Paulo.
Direction and presentation: Carlos Tibúrcio.
Editorial coordination: Rita Freire, from the ciranda.net
Glenda Lima and Ana Paula De La Orgem, from Kirimurê TV, Salvador, Bahia.
Technical work:Sérgio Pappe.