Skip to content
Key findings
  • In Mozambique, fewer women than men have secondary schooling (30% vs. 36%), and more lack formal education altogether (21% vs. 17%).
  • Gender gaps persist in ownership of some key assets, including a mobile phone (59% vs. 72%), a bank account (20% vs. 29%), a motor vehicle (11% vs. 19%), and a computer (9% vs. 14%).
  • Women are less likely than men to say they make decisions themselves about how household money is spent (20% vs. 33%).
  • A slim majority (54%) of Mozambicans say women should have the same chance as men of getting a job, while 40% oppose gender equality in hiring.
  • A stronger majority (79%) endorse equal rights in land ownership and inheritance. ▪ Seven in 10 citizens (70%) say women should have the same chance as men to be elected to political office. o However, majorities consider it likely that a woman running for public office will be criticised, called names, or harassed by others in the community (57%) and will face problems with her family (51%).
  • Fewer than one-third (31%) of Mozambicans say their government is doing a good job of promoting gender equality. But only 41% say it should be doing more.

Women outnumber men in Mozambique (United Nations Mozambique, 2022), but despite  their dominance in number, they still trail men on key economic, social, and political indicators.  

On the economic front, low levels of education and training impede women’s job prospects  (UN Women Africa, 2022). Only 3.8% of women are estimated to be active in the formal  labour market (Ryan, 2020), while 90% work in agriculture, a sector marked by low wages and  poor social security (Fórum Mulher, 2019; United Nations Mozambique, 2021).  

In education, gender enrolment disparities have been significantly reduced, but the rate of  completion is much lower for girls due to heavy domestic burdens, early pregnancy, and the  high prevalence of child marriage, all of which force a premature exit from the schooling  system (USAID, 2019). More than half (53%) of the country’s young women marry before age 18, and 17% before age 15 (United Nations Mozambique, 2022; World Bank Group, 2023). 

The high incidence of HIV/AIDS among women is also rooted in gender inequality, as women’s economic and social disadvantages increase their vulnerability to infection (UNAIDS, 2021). In 2022, 54,000 new infections were recorded among women, compared to  30,000 among men (Club of Mozambique, 2023). Women register a prevalence rate of 15.2%  compared to 9.5% among men (UNAIDS, 2021). 

The Mozambican government has demonstrated a strong political commitment to gender  equality, adopting the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and signing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Maputo  Protocol, and the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Gender and  Development (Southern African Research and Documentation Centre, 2019). The country  has made impressive strides in ensuring women’s political representation: As of 2021, 42.4% of  seats in Parliament were held by women (UN Women, 2021). 

This dispatch reports on a special survey module included in the Afrobarometer Round 9  questionnaire to explore Africans’ experiences and perceptions of gender equality in control  over assets, hiring, land ownership, and political leadership. (For findings on gender-based  violence, see Eduonoo, 2023). 

In Mozambique, findings show gender gaps in educational attainment, asset ownership, and  household financial decision making. Most citizens express support for equal rights in land  ownership, but only a slim majority endorse gender equality in hiring. And while most Mozambicans say a woman should have the same right as a man to be elected to public  office, majorities also consider it likely that a female candidate will suffer criticism and  harassment from the community and problems with her family. 

Overall, a majority of Mozambicans give their government poor marks on its efforts to promote gender equality, but fewer than half call for greater effort.

Asafika Mpako

Asafika is the communications coordinator for Southern Africa

Stephen Ndoma

Stephen is the assistant project manager for Southern Africa