Domestic Case Law

Processo nº 35/2011 Supreme Court (2011)

Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Property and inheritance rights

In a proceeding following a divorce, the appellant wife argued that she had married her husband under a regime of separate property. The court determined that a couple married under such a regime can only switch to a community property regime upon agreement between the parties, which had not occurred in this case.


Política de Género e Estratégia da sua Implementação (Gender Policy and its Implementation) (2006)

Gender discrimination

Outlines a general plan for the creation of institutional mechanisms that will assist in the implementation of policies targeting gender inequality. Critical areas identified include economic empowerment, education, basic needs, and childbirth mortality.

Penal Code 2014: Lei nº 35/2014 (2014)

Abortion and reproductive health rights, Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

The Code defines certain crimes and their penalties. The Code includes provisions defining and prohibiting sexual assault and domestic violence. The Code legalizes abortions performed within 12 weeks of gestation. The Code also eliminates attenuating circumstances previously associated with the crime of rape, such as the possibility of acquittal in cases where the perpetrator married the victim. In addition, the Code decriminalizes prostitution.

Lei do Trabalho: Lei nº 27/2007 (Labor Act) (2007)

Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

The law governs rights associated with labor. The law grants women the right to a 60-day paid maternity leave. In contrast, fathers receive a one-day paternity leave on the day immediately following the birth of the child. The law also provides that mothers have the right to up to 30 absences from work per year in order to care for minor children who are either sick or have suffered an accident.

Lei de Terras: Lei nº 19/97 (Land Law) (1997)

Property and inheritance rights

The law governs ownership and use of land. Articles 10 and 15 of the law provide that women have the same right as men to use and manage land. The law also provides that land can be inherited regardless of gender. However, article 12 states that land acquisition requires compliance with “customary norms and practices that are not contrary to the Constitution.”

Lei da Família: Lei nº 10/2004 (Family Code) (2004)

Divorce and dissolution of marriage, Employment discrimination, Forced and early marriage, Gender discrimination, Property and inheritance rights

The law defines family relationships and establishes certain “rights of the family.” The law prohibits various forms of discrimination against women, including through polygamy, inheritance, age at marriage and choice of children. The law defines marriage as a “voluntary union between a man and a woman”, which requires mutual consent. Coerced marriage is subject to annulment. The law provides that both husband and wife have the right to “represent the family”, to administer the family finances, and to work. The law also outlines provisions for divorce. Husbands are required to pay child support in case of divorce,

Lei de Prevenção e Combate ao Tráfico de Pessoas: Lei nº 6/2008 (Law to Prevent Trafficking and Combat in Persons) (2008)

Trafficking in persons

The law defines and prohibits human trafficking. The penalty for human trafficking is 16 - 20 years imprisonment. Longer prison sentences are recommended when the victim is a woman or a child. The law provides that victims can benefit from witness protection measures and other forms of assistance, such as medical services and counseling.

Lei Sobre a Violência Doméstica Praticada Contra a Mulher: Lei nº 29/2009 (Law on Domestic Violence Against Women) (2009)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

The law defines and prohibits acts of domestic violence, including sexual and moral violence, which do not result in death. Moral violence consists of publishing content that offends the honor or character of a woman. The penalty for domestic violence is established according to the rules of the national Penal Code. The law also includes community service as a potential penalty. The penalty for “non-consensual sex” is six months to two years imprisonment. The penalty may be increased if the perpetrator maintained sexual relations with the victim despite being aware that he was infected with HIV. However, lawmakers chose not to include an article in the law which would have prohibited traditional practices that violate women’s sexual and reproductive rights (e.g. the traditional practice whereby widows must marry their deceased husband’s brother).

Constituição da República de Moçambique (Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique) (2007)

Gender discrimination

Article 36 of Mozambique’s Constitution provides that “men and women are equal before the law in all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life.”