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Canada Invests in Women and Girls in Mozambique

New project will promote gender equality and access to contraception for millions young women and girls

JULY 11, 2017, WATERTOWN, MA—Pathfinder is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Government of Canada to support women and girls in Mozambique. The ‘Supporting Family Planning and Abortion Services in Mozambique’ program was announced today at the London Summit on Family Planning by Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Mandate, Ms. Marie-Claude Bibeau. The project will engage girls, their communities, and the health system to improve gender equality and access to quality sexual and reproductive health services for adolescent girls and young women.

“We are honored to partner with Canada on such an important project,” said Lois Quam, President and CEO of Pathfinder. “Pathfinder has been working in Mozambique for two decades so we know well the challenges adolescent girls and young women facefrom lack of autonomy in decision-making about their health to sexual and gender-based violence. This investment will truly change the lives of millions of young women and girls,” continued Quam.

In line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, the Pathfinder project will improve the health and quality of life of adolescent girls and young women in two provinces by supporting gender equality and empowering young women. Mozambique has made significant advances in access to contraception, however gender inequality continues to threaten the health of adolescent girls and young women. Nearly half of Mozambique’s population is under 15, and a third is aged 10-24 years. Only 14% of adolescents aged 15-19 are using a modern form of contraception and nearly 1 in 3 women of reproductive age in Mozambique reports that her partner alone makes decisions pertaining to her health. Mozambique has the 10th highest rate of child marriage in the world.

Working with adolescent girls and young women, members of their community, and the health care system, the project will address the diverse drivers of gender inequality and combine a “whole girl” approach with a “whole systems” perspective. Ultimately, the project seeks to create the conditions for adolescent girls and young women to be able to enjoy the right to sexual and reproductive healthincluding the right to live free from the threat of sexual and gender-based violence and to enter marriage and motherhood by choice.

“Canada is proud to work with Pathfinder International to ensure that young women and girls in Mozambique have access to contraceptives and programs to support gender equality, said Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. “Together, we can build a world in which every pregnancy is intended, every birth is safe, and every woman and girl is treated with dignity and respect,” continued Minister Bibeau.

Pathfinder brings more than 20 years of experience in Mozambique, and offers a nuanced approach to building partnerships with community and government actors.