Mozambique: Nyusi Urges OMM to Train Young Women

Maputo – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi, speaking in his capacity as president of the ruling Frelimo Party, on Saturday urged the Mozambican Women’s Organisation (OMM), which is affiliated to Frelimo, to put more of its energies into training young women.

Speaking at the closing session of the OMM Fourth Congress, in the southern city of Matola, Nyusi said that this turn in the OMM’s priorities should be accompanied by an open debate of the problems facing both the OMM and Frelimo, which would make it possible to take “structuring decisions”.

He added that the OMM must be guided by participatory methodologies that value the knowledge and militancy of women of all social strata who are committed to Frelimo, taking inspiration from the ideals that have oriented the OMM since it was founded 43 years ago.

“The country is waiting for us”, declared Nyusi. “We should not rest while there are still women who sleep unsure of what they will eat the following day, or where to find calm for their child, or how to produce from the family field, while there are still malnourished children, and women without access to maternity facilities, while there is still no effective peace”.

Society is crying out for change, said the President, and no-one is better positioned to bring about that change than “united and visionary women”.

“We should commit ourselves to the decisions taken at this congress, with faith in victory and the certainty that the OMM will be able to impose itself in society and that, thanks to its fruits, no Mozambican woman will want to be left out of this noble mission of fighting for socio-economic liberation”, Nyusi added.

He claimed that the OMM has become more powerful because it brings together women from various generations who transmit knowledge, examples and histories of sacrifices in defence of women and of Mozambique.

“Today Mozambican women cannot be bypassed in the political, economic, social and academic panorama”, said Nyusi. “I congratulate the OMM for showing society that we are an organization with firm traditions, principles and values”.

The Congress elected a new leadership for the organization. The First Lady, Isaura Nyusi, becomes the new President of the OMM, taking over from the previous First Lady, Maria da Luz Guebuza.

Elected as General Secretary was Mariazinha Niquice, formerly the Frelimo First Secretary in the central province of Manica. She replaces Maria de Fatima Pelembe, whom Nyusi appointed Deputy Minister for Veterans’ Affairs last year.

Speaking at the close of the Congress, Isaura Nyusi cited the words of the country’s first President, Samora Machel, that “the liberation of women is not an act of charity. It is not the result of a humanitarian or compassionate position. It is a fundamental necessity for the Revolution, a guarantee of its continuity, and a condition for its success”.

She stressed as the main challenges facing the OMM the empowerment of women, support for children and other vulnerable groups, the promotion of gender equity, through building the capacity of both women and men in the various spheres of development.

Priorities for action, she added, included the promotion of births in health units rather than at home, equitable access to education, health care and housing, the fight against child marriage and early pregnancies, and reducing the incidence of chronic malnutrition, HIV/AIDS and breast and cervical cancers.

“We do not need to remind ourselves every day of the natural pacifying role of women because

women are the guarantee for the strengthening of peaceful and democratic co-existence, which are the foundations for strengthening peace and national unity”, she declared.

Niquice pledged to defend the goals for which the OMM was created, and to raise high the name of Frelimo and the cause of gender equity.