The Effects of Drought on Girls in Rural Mozambique in 2016

Final project
Year of publication:
Gender and Environment
Number of pages:


Between 2015 and early 2017, Mozambique was hit by drought from low rainfall that led the government to seek humanitarian assistance. Statistics reveal that more than 2.2 million people have been affected by drought in the country. This water shortage affects men, women, boys, and girls in the communities differently due to hegemonic masculinity leading to entrenched gender roles and a gendered division of labor from the household level up to the entire society. Understanding the effects of the drought on girls starts from understanding the causes and then moving towards minimizing them, so that girls will be less affected. When it comes to drought situations, some human rights are likely to be neglected. These rights may include: the right to equal opportunity to education, the right to food, and the right to reproductive health. When drought occurs, girls are more likely to be exposed to violence while fetching water. They also tend to drop out of school because they have to help in domestic activities traditionally assigned to girls and wives. The recent drought has exposed the vulnerability of the citizens of Mozambique, especially young girls in the rural areas of the country. This essay presents patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity as the main theory to understand the unequal impact of drought on girls in rural Mozambique.