In Guinea-Bissau women are the bread winners

On March 8 another International Women's Day was celebrated in Guinea-Bissau, under the slogan "50/50 by 2030: Promotion of equality between men and women" with various initiatives to recall the struggle of Bissau-Guinean women, their difficulties and achievements throughout the decades in the struggle for rights and equal opportunities.

6 Apr 2016

In Guinea-Bissau women are the bread winners

In Guinea-Bissau women represent 51 percent of the population but are still underrepresented in the political sphere. However they are more often victims of human rights violations: early and forced marriage, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, sexual abuse and violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Being a woman in Guinea-Bissau means living a hard life, because most of them live in extreme poverty and to sustain their household and ensure the education of their children they need to sell vegetables, fish, or clothing on the streets.

Apolinária Mendonça is one of these women who work hard every day to put bread on the table and ensure her family’s well-being. Mother of four, Apolinária sells water on the sidewalk of Bandim market. She wakes up every day at 5.30 in the morning to buy ice and then fill the bags before going to the market.

"I have to work, the father of my children does not help me, so I have to sell to make a living, pay school fees and buy clothes for the children and for me too, I can do it all, thanks to my business. I do not have much money, but it helps to not go hungry. ", explained Apolinária.

At the women’s day celebrations official act held at the Government Palace, in Bissau, Silvina Tavares, vice president of the Women Political Platform, recalled the crucial role of women in Guinean society and stressed that there is still much to do to achieve true equality:

"Today women are the majority of workers in Guinea-Bissau and are responsible for the livelihood of many people and many families, however many changes need to be made before we can really celebrate that date, because unfortunately many women still work with the same workload as man and earn less. "

Valentina Mendes, Minister of Women, Family and Social Cohesion, said in turn that "the issue of women’s rights everything is a priority, to start we have high dropout rate of girls, early and forced marriages, domestic violence and female genital mutilation are government priorities in general and in particular the Women's ministry. "