Maputo — Muecate (Mozambique), 13 Jun (AIM) - Mozambique's First Lady, Isaura Nyusi, declared on Tuesday that illiteracy remains an obstacle preventing women from the full enjoyment of their rights.
Speaking at a meeting with residents of the town of Muecate, in the northern province of Nampula, where she is on a four day visit, she said this was why the government lays such a heavy stress on education, particularly of girls.
Illiteracy, she warned, increases poverty and vulnerability to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, particularly among adolescent girls and young women.
"That's why education remains a priority for the government", said Isaura Nyusi, "and why we extend this priority to adults who did not have the opportunity in the past".
"Adults are responsible for ensuring that children go to school", she told the crowd. "Each child should be registered at birth, and on reaching six years of age should be enrolled in school".
Education, the first Lady continued, is fundamental for human and social development, and makes gender equality viable. "Education also helps reduce gender-based discrimination and violence", she said.
The vertical transmission of the HIV virus, from pregnant women to their unborn children remains a challenge, she stressed.
"We call on all influential bodies, community and religious leaders, parents and guardians, health workers, teachers and civil society to help our girls avoid HIV infection", the First Lady urged.
While in Muecate, Isaura Nyusi visited a first year literacy class, with 30 students, of whom only five were men.
A message read out on the occasion, by the teacher, Regina Machel, said that the district is committed to the fight against child marriages, against malnutrition and for the empowerment of women.