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Leading Mozambican personalities spearhead Government’s zero tolerance campaign against sexual abuse and violence

Joaquim Chissano
Former President and Head of State Joaquim Chissano is one of four leading Mozambican personalities spearheading the anti-violence campaign.

MAPUTO, Mozambique, 3 June 2011 – In an unprecedented joint effort, the Mozambican Ministry of Education (MINED) is leading the development and implementation of a zero tolerance campaign against sexual abuse and violence under the motto ‘nao da para aceitar’ or ‘don’t accept it’. The campaign, which will be launched in the near future, is closely coordinated with and strongly supported by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Women and Social Action, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, civil society partners and UNICEF Mozambique.

Sexual abuse and violence represent a serious problem in Mozambican society, a problem that is acerbated by what some have referred to as a ‘culture of silence’: the tendency for victims, caregivers and other individuals in their immediate surroundings to not speak up about sexual abuse and report it to the police. Societal and structural pressures act in unison to suppress such cases from being presented to and addressed by the authorities. Often, even in the most serious cases, the victim feels helpless and does not see any purpose in coming forward. The objective of the zero tolerance campaign is to change such social norms by making all forms of sexual abuse and violence unacceptable and by encouraging victims to come forward with and report their experiences. Reporting abuse should be the norm rather than the exception.

The campaign involves a series of public service announcements (PSAs) made for radio and TV, featuring four leading Mozambican personalities: former President Joaquim Chissano, former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo, artists Stewart Sukuma and Mingas. They are all lending their authority and recognition in support of the violence issue.

“By having well-known faces and voices fronting this campaign, we are able to establish a strong and direct connection with the target audience and increase the likelihood that they will take the message seriously,” says Marie-Consolée Mukangendo, UNICEF Communication for Development Specialist.

Luisa Diogo
Former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo supporting the anti-violence campaign.

“We are very grateful to the four well-known and resourceful participants in the campaign – for championing such an important cause and for helping to change social norms in Mozambique,” says Mukangendo.

Former President Joaquim Chissano was the second President of Mozambique and served as Head of State for almost 20 years. He currently serves the UN as an envoy and negotiator. In 2007, he was awarded the first Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. Former Prime Minsiter Luisa Diogo served as the country’s first female Prime Minister for six years until 2010. She has been a tireless advocate of women’s rights. Stewart Sukuma and Mingas are well-loved artists known throughout Mozambique and beyond for their music. They are also staunch supporters of UNICEF’s work and children’s rights. In 2010, they led a cast of excellent Mozambican performers in a UNICEF-sponosred concert during the Quinzena da Criança (the children’s fortnight).

For more information, please contact:

Arild Drivdal, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email: maputo@unicef.org

 

 

 
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