This article outlines some of the main policies and interventions for economic development and gender equality in Mozambique since Independence in 1975, and assesses key implications for the positions of -  and relations between - men and women in the country. A key conclusion, reflected in the continued differences between geographical regions and rural and urban social formations in the country, is the resilience of historically and culturally situated gender-relations. The most profound changes in gender relations in Mozambique are found in the wake of deep structural changes affecting the political and economic context in which people find themselves, such as the processes of impoverishment, urbanisation and labour migration.

The article also reveals the limitations of the liberal economic policies pursued by the country (which do not 'trickle down' to the very poorest as envisaged); the ineffectiveness of a weak state and judiciary (which cannot follow up policy decisions at the local level); and the failure of 'mainstreaming' gender policies and interventions (which have effectively pulverised responsibility and made gender issues a non-committal 'cross-cutting issue' for government and donors alike).

The article will be published on the World Bank website at the time of the release of the World Development Report 2012.

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