Migration of men forces women to provide for families
MOZAMBICAN men migrating to South Africa because of drought are leaving children and women vulnerable to transactional sex, unwanted pregnancies, child marriage and sexually transmitted infections.
With child marriage potentially a mechanism for coping with the drought, there is evidence of women and girls moving to areas of richer cattle herders and rhino poachers.
These are among some of the findings of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) amid the devastating impact of the 2016 drought mostly in southern Mozambique.
“Men continue to migrate towards urban areas, particularly South Africa,” UNFPA stated.
The UN agency said subsequently, there was an increased burden on women to provide for households.
Hence, transactional sex is a means to access food and financial resources.
UNFPA said there were reports of young women migrating to male worker compounds and regions with wealthier men.
“Women’s hygiene has been compromised,” the agency added.
Exposure to HIV and STIs is on the rise, along with unwanted and early pregnancy and maternal death, due to compromised personal hygiene and the prevalence of transactional sex.
“Women are increasingly exposed to abandonment and widowhood due to the migration of men,” UNFPA stated.
The drought from 2016 is affecting over 2 million people in Mozambique, a country with a population of 28 million.
Floods and the Cyclone Dineo have displaced thousands. – CAJ News