Former child brides in Mozambique can start a new, financially independent life

Date:

Former child brides in Mozambique can start a new

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Sunday, October 16, 2022.
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Mother of five, 44-year-old Teresa Gala.

  • At 14, she got married, and her new circumstances forced her to drop out of school.

  • Over the previous year, the Spotlight Initiative helped more than 9,000 women in Mozambique.

  • As her income increased, Ms. Gala could purchase a cell phone, which allowed her to communicate with her clients and social acquaintances and sign up for the country’s mobile financial system.

  • With the money she made from her microbusiness, she now helps pay for home expenses and pays for one of her children’s college tuition while she gets a degree in health.

Mother of five, 44-year-old Teresa Gala. At 14, she got married, and her new circumstances forced her to drop out of school. Her days were spent caring for her children and doing housework for over three decades. Ms. Gala added working on her family’s farm during the growing season to her daily schedule.

But she never lost sight of her goal of starting her own company and becoming financially independent.

I often had to ask my husband for money because I didn’t study and didn’t have a job, according to Ms. Gala. I occasionally asked for very little but was frequently told “no.” It wasn’t very comfortable.

When she married thirty years ago, there was almost no discussion of child marriage in the nation, but times have changed for the better. Since 2019, the Mozambican laws that safeguard women and children against harmful practices, including early marriages and gender-based violence, have been supported by the Spotlight Effort, a global initiative of the United Nations-sponsored by the European Union.

A secure setting for growth

When Ms. Gala joined the Tambara Women’s Association (ASMTA) in the Manica province in 2021, a group supported by the Spotlight Initiative, her life improved. These organizations and women’s groups help women build trusting relationships and give them safe places to talk about gender-based violence and women’s rights. They also offer support networks where women can learn and grow economically together. Over the previous year, the Spotlight Initiative helped more than 9,000 women in Mozambique.

Ms. Gala had access to an “enterprise kit” through the group, which included the first capital she needed to launch a business selling yoghurt made from Malambe (fruit of the baobab tree) and Maheu (a fermented corn drink).

By investing her initial profits in a freezer, Ms. Gala, who resides in the Tambara neighbourhood where temperatures may frequently exceed 40 degrees Celsius, was able to manufacture Maheu and Malembe ice cream, a massive hit with her clients.

As her income increased, Ms. Gala could purchase a cell phone, which allowed her to communicate with her clients and social acquaintances and sign up for the country’s mobile financial system.

With the money she made from her microbusiness, she now helps pay for home expenses and pays for one of her children’s college tuition while she gets a degree in health.

I feel like I’m more respected at home because of my business. She says that I am a financially stable woman with savings who helps pay for home expenses and the schooling of my children. I’m no longer dependent on my husband to provide for my necessities in terms of money.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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