Less than one out of every 1000 rural girls graduate from secondary school (10th grade) in Mozambique today. However, graduating from 10th grade in Mozambique provides girls with substantial income generating opportunities, including teaching and civil service, bringing long-term benefits to their families and children. It allows girls to escape poverty, ward off child marriage, decrease their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS and fight the culture of inequality that limits women and handicaps Mozambican society.
The Republic of Mozambique
The Republic of Mozambique ("Mozambique") is a country in Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel and located between South Africa and Tanzania. Mozambique was a Portuguese colony until 1975, at which time it gained independence, but entered into a period of nearly two decades of civil war and a decade of one-party Marxist-Leninist government. In 1990 Mozambique adopted a new constitution, which provided for a multi-party system of democracy, and in 1992, the Rome General Peace Accords ended the civil war and restored peace to Mozambique.
Since the end of the civil war, Mozambique has made steady progress in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction, and also in terms of improved health and education amongst its population. Despite the progress made, Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in the world and continues to struggle with a multitude of economic, health and other social problems. Seventy percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and 21% of the population is unemployed. Also, like many Africans countries, there is a high prevalence of HIV and AIDS and a high infant and maternal birth mortality rate. There is also a high risk of infection from a variety of other major infectious diseases, such as malaria, hepatitis A and typhoid fever. With 60% of the population lacking access to health care, these diseases take an exceptionally high toll on the people of Mozambique. Average life expectancy at birth is approximately 41 years. Additionally, many Mozambicans lack access or opportunity to pursue their education. Over half of the population is illiterate.