Mozambican men against domestic violence

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Mozambican men against domestic violence

This non-profit art group, HopeM is trying to end violence against women in Mozambique. By Rebecca Cooke

In the FEIMA arts market in Maputo, capital of Mozambique, a man shouts angrily and punches the man next to him, who is wearing a skirt.

The people around do nothing. They just laugh. The man wearing a skirt cries and falls down.

This is theatre, by non-profit HopeM. The drama group are all men. With their comedy, they get people to watch and think. They ‘teach men that violence is not the way’, says HopeM project worker Albert Panera.

This is one of HopeM’s many art projects. They want to end violence against women in Mozambique. Men control society here and nearly half of all girls get married before the age of 18.

‘I sing where I can, in schools and at community meetings, to teach men that this is not right for our daughters. This is not how to be a strong man,’ says singer songwriter Joao Rabeca, holding his guitar. He is proud that he uses the power of music and stories to try to end child marriage in Jago, north of Maputo. ‘I am the only man who does this,’ he says.

In 2016, Mozambique’s government started a national plan to end child marriage and make women more equal to men regarding money.