As the world celebrates its International Women`s day, Zimbabwe women highlight their plight. It has been quite a struggle for the women in Zimbabwe to campaign for their status in society. Zimbabwe women have expressed themselves to rise above the bar despite gender discrimination. This is evident in the efforts they make each passing day to look after themselves. From driving big trucks to even being automotive mechanics. Surprisingly, even ladies living with disabilities are being encouraged. Their disability amounts to no inability. They are expressing themselves in ways that can help them gain a voice in society. International women`s day comes as a celebration day for these women to appreciate the milestones so far.
Gender discrimination in Zimbabwe
Gender discrimination, especially in workplaces, has been dominant for quite some years in Zimbabwe. The call to end gender discrimination towards women has been an agenda for many women in leadership roles. Although not where the country hopes to be, so far, there is progress. This is despite the lingering notion of the traditional responsibilities of women in society.
From a statement on one of the women in the truck driving industry, she affirms her traditional roles. Molly Manatse is one of the few female truck drivers in the industry. The 31-year-old laments how when she gets home, and all her house chores are still waiting on her. It quite a challenge that most industrious women in Zimbabwe have to maneuver with.
COVID-19 on Zimbabwe women
As much as the women struggle to voice their need for equality, the corona pandemic has taken a toll. Following the lockdowns and restrictions put in place to curb the pandemic, many businesses have closed. Memory Mukabeta explains how the virus had a negative impact on her. Mukabeta has a car repair shop.
Mukabeta explains how she is now forced to take care of her family following her relatives’ job losses. She is no different from Manatse. In the event of providing for her family, she states how the restrictions are also affecting her. She confirms that she is forced to close down her business many a time due to the restrictions.
Challenges on Zimbabwe Women
Aside from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Zimbabwe women still have to convince society. In fact, one of the challenges that Mukabeta has to deal with is her customers. Immediately they encounter her; they ask her a bunch of questions. To her, this translates to the lack of confidence from her customers to do the job.
It is no different for Manatse. The male gender dominates her job. In fact, she accounts for the only woman out of the 80 employed drivers. Nonetheless, women continue to express their hard work amidst the corona pandemic. Community help groups like the Hope Rescue Trust are already in place.
Hope Rescue helps young girls with disabilities gain skills to help them in society. Florence Mudzingwa, who works from her wheelchair, has enabled girls with disabilities to cater for themselves. Enterprenual skills like selling facemasks have been of great help to these girls.
The government on Gender Discrimination
Zimbabwe has set rules and regulations meant to protect women. This includes the rights of women in workplaces as well as at home. Women account for more than half of the country`s population. However, the implementation of these rules and regulations stands at a crossroads Manatse agrees that more work is needed to advocate for women’s rights in workplaces.
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