With the technical and financial support of medicusmundi, on the 29th and 30th of June, at Caritas Mozambican in Maputo, two interesting training sessions were held for members of the Municipal Commission for Social Determinants of Health (CDSS) in matters of “Advocacy and Lobbying” and “Gender-Based Violence”.
The trainings arise from the need to train the members of the CDSS in the different and multiple strategies of advocacy and lobbying, so that the CDSS can influence policies at the level of the different areas of the Municipal Council and raise the awareness of Maputo's citizens on topics of high interest. of citizenship, as well as enabling them in a practical way to understand gender issues and gender-based violence.
The first training was given by Brenda Campos, a social activist and specialist in gender equality policies, leadership, advocacy and political participation. According to Brenda Campos, to talk about advocacy, it is necessary to mention that it arises from society's dissatisfaction with the Government's actions and the inaccessibility of services and resources to the population as a whole.
For the social activist, advocacy exists to remind us that it is our duty and right to get involved in public policies. The training in "Advocacy and Lobby" took place from theoretical and practical classes that consisted of identifying gaps within the Commission itself and in the National Health System, in the analysis and debate to deepen the theme, its causes and consequences, as well as in the search for possible solutions that can be promoted based on the Commission's action.
On the occasion, Brenda Campos encouraged and challenged the members of the Commission to advocate at the level of the Municipality of Maputo, as representatives of citizens and people in general, affected by various social determinants that influence their health.
During the training, Brenda Campos mentioned, finally, that the members of the Commission, as officials of the Mozambican State, have enormous power because they are seated at the table of those who make the decisions, so she appealed to them to mediate, mobilize and promote , with decision and courage, transformative and change actions.
In the following training on “Gender-Based Violence”, given by Karina Dulobo (medicusmundi) and Mangia Macuácua (Fórum Mulher), CDSS members were able to reflect and acquire more knowledge about the Human Rights of women, the ways in which Gender-Based Violence manifests itself and the importance of discussing this issue in the search for changing the sexist and patriarchal stereotypes that are deeply rooted in our society (in all of us…) and that naturalize gender inequalities and violence against women and LGBTI+ people.
In the training, Karina and Mangia, specialists with a wide experience in the subject, showed and demonstrated that Gender-Based Violence is a generalized form of violence, rooted in unequal power relations between women and men, which, in turn, reflect and they reinforce the subordinate status of women in many societies, as in fact, and unfortunately, happens in Mozambican society. CDSS is committed to becoming an agent of change in its workspace and in the neighborhoods and schools of the city of Maputo.
It is recalled that the Commission on Social Determinants of Health is a multisectoral platform that brings together members of the Organic Units of the Municipal Council of the city of Maputo, health services, teaching and research institutions, civil society and cooperation partners, created by the Maputo City Council, with the technical support of medicusmundi, which aims to contribute to the improvement of equity and quality of life for the citizens of the city of Maputo, through the promotion of public policies sensitive to the social determinants of health, as the main strategy to guarantee the population's right to health. This initiative is developed within the scope of the project "The Social Determinants of Health: the best strategy against COVID-19 in Maputo", funded by the Ajuntament de Barcelona.