Prioritise Women’s Needs During Lockdown, Govt Told

The Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has called on the government to look into the plight of women as they are heavily affected by the lockdown in so many ways than one.

In its COVID-19 weekly report, Their Voices Matter” ZimRights said the government must create dedicated safety nets for women who suffer disruption of their income-generating projects becomes a priority.

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs must be out in full force, taking care of those who care for the nation, attending to their needs so the burden of national compassion does not crush them.

“For the women in the informal sector, they leave home to visit their vending stalls, only to find them destroyed by the police and at times they get caught up in the ongoing wars with the police,” reads the report

ZimRights underpinned the need to consider women in all facets of every decision being undertaken by the government during the lockdown.

Most frontline health workers are women are carrying the huge risk of contracting the COVID-19 while those in the informal sector have been undone by the extended lockdown.

The report further stated that the unspoken disaster of the lack of attention by government to the needs of health care workers in 2019 was the closure of maternity hospitals leading to thousands of women taking care of each other in the backyards.

“With the furious advent of Coronavirus on the scene, these deficits have not been addressed. Add to this pandemonium the fact that the majority of the healthcare workers are women across the country.

“After labouring a whole day in an unequipped facility, interacting with death in the most vulnerable ways, they have to go home where they carry the burden of the family,” ZimRights said.

In her presentation during the United Nations Financing for Development Informal Forum yesterday, Dr Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Chief Executive of Rozaria Memorial Trust, and the Africa Union Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage said the effects of the COVID-19 will impact heavily more on women in developing countries hence In planning their national financing packages, governments must prioritise working people over shareholders, and protect the lives, rights and livelihoods of the most vulnerable, including women, informal workers, market traders and smallholder farmers whose contribution to their local economies is immense.

“This unprecedented crisis is also the time for governments to take bold steps to stop leakages from their economies, such as illicit financial flows, tax loopholes, perverse subsidies for fossil fuels, and corruption.

“As we all know, the COVID19 health emergency is also triggering or exacerbating an economic crisis. Vicious as that crisis is in the global North, it will be utterly devastating for women, informal workers and farmers, and the economies in the global South,” Dr Gumbonzvanda said.


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