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Isabel Casimiro

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Isabel Maria Cortesão Casimiro (born 14 January 1955) is a Mozambican sociologist, women's rights activist, and a former politician. She is a professor at the Centre of African Studies, Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, Mozambique.[1] She is a feminist and women's rights activist, and founder of Fórum Mulher and Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust. She was a FRELIMO Member of Parliament from 1995 to 1999.

Early life

According to a webpage written by herself, Isabel Maria Casimiro was born on 14 January 1955 in Iapala, a small village in Nampula Province, on the north-east coast of Mozambique.[2] Her father was a medical doctor based at the railway station in Iapala.[2] Her parents had moved to Mozambique in 1952, because they were members of the Portuguese Communist Party, which had been declared illegal by the government, so they were effectively "exiled" to what was then one of Portugal's overseas colonies.[2]


From 1995 to 1999 Casimiro was a Member of Parliament, representing FRELIMO, the Mozambique Liberation Front.[3]

Casimiro is the founder, and president from 2006 to 2015, of Fórum Mulher.[3]

Casimiro is the founder and the first national coordinator of the Women and Law in Southern Africa Research and Education Trust (WLSA), based in Mozambique, and since 2015 she has been WLSA's Mozambique board president.[3]

Casimiro is a sociology professor at the Centre of African Studies, Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, where she specialises in women's and human rights, feminist movements, development issues, and participatory democracy.[1]


In 1974 a black Mozambican woman, the teacher Joana Semião, was organizing another political party, together with other Mozambican leaders, in order to opposite the one-party sistem that Frelimo was going to establish. Semião was arrested by Portuguese forces and delivered to Frelimo, which later condamned her to the so-called reeducation. No news was ever heard about her fate, but she was presumably killed together with other dissidents from Frelimo. Semião was the first Mozambican black woman who tried to establish a true democratic system in Mozambique, in comparison to Isabel Casimiro who is white and served a totalitarian regime (see also Joao Cabrita, Mozambique - The Tortuous Road to Democracy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2000, )


  1. ^ a b "Isabel Maria Alçadra Padez Cortesao Casimiro / CODESRIA". Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "isabel". Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Casimiro, by Isabel Maria Cortesão. "Criminalization of feminist activists and social movements in Mozambique". Retrieved 10 November 2017.

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Isabel Casimiro
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