The Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) in collaboration with Women’s Institute of Leadership Development (WILD), National Association of Youth Organisation (NAYO) and the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCZ) partnered to discuss the gendered impact of covid19 on young women.
The meeting was graced by Mayors, Ward Councilors and young women from different parts of Zimbabwe. Young women from Kadoma, Kwekwe, Bindura, Gwanda and Bulawayo presented the service delivery challenges that they are experiencing as a result of Covid19.
The meeting was attended by at least 61 people.
“Female informal traders constitute the highest number of informal traders in Bulawayo and travel restrictions induced by the COVID-19 prevention measures significantly affected their financially stability,” said Juliet Samson a representative from Cowdray Park suburb in Bulawayo.
Ward 18 Councillor Concilia Mlalazi said the biggest challenge for young women is that COVID-19 came with limitations to the economic activities of informal traders.
“The regulations of COVID-19 have limited young women’s economic activity most of whom are informal traders and this has negatively affected their income as they live from hand to mouth,” said Mlalazi.
Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni revealed that 70% of vendors in Bulawayo are women and the current unemployment rate bedeviling the city has been a major setback in women’s access to income for their different needs.
Some of the challenges highlighted by participants include gender based violence, abuse of women by law enforcers, water challenges leading women to spend long hours queueing for water, poor service delivery by the councils, early child marriages, lack of access to birth control pills, striving to fund for their families some have resorted to mining and are abused by male illegal gold planners and lack of access to health care services especially in the maternity wards leading to the death of about 10 newly born babies in one of the healthcare centres in the country.
To address questions on service delivery the mayors insisted that budgets are strained as a result of inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic hence the need for a supplementary budget. However, in the budget consultations, residents unanimously rejected the budget.
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