The Women Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) Masvingo Chapter has expressed displeasure at the composition of the provincial taskforces set up to fight the spread of coronavirus, saying those structures do not reflect the quest to increase women’s representation in decision-making.
This was heard during WCoZ Masvingo Chapter health cluster stakeholders meeting held on October 13 at Mucheke Hall.
The meeting, which was attended by many women including Masvingo Urban Ward 1 Councillor Selina Maridza, sought to share thoughts about the gender dynamics of Covid-19 and to discuss women’s involvement in efforts to fight the pandemic.
“We are concerned that women are yet again underrepresented in the provincial taskforces that were put in place to fight Covid-19. This is reflective of the wider societal gender injustices that we face every day and that we seek to end.
“We all agree that we need to support each other so that we are able to take positions in key decision-making structures. The Covid-19 pandemic affects everybody in society regardless of gender so it is important that women get fair inclusion in all decision-making processes,” said WCoZ Masvingo Chapter Chairperson Joyce Mhungu.
The Masvingo Provincial Covid-19 Taskforce, which is chaired by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira, comprises eight subcommittees including the Risk Communication Subcommittee which draws its membership largely from the media that in turn are dominated by males.
WCoZ Masvingo health cluster member Elizabeth Ndlovu said women had to be prepared to compete for their rightful place in all processes as nothing would come their way on a silver platter.
“We have to stand up for ourselves and push for our own involvement in decision-making structures. More importantly, women have to support each other in such processes as elections because that’s where primary influence emanates,” said Ndlovu.
This was supported by another cluster member Fortune Sinamai who added that women had to strive for self-improvement for them to be more competitive.
“A wise woman does not wallow in despair. We have to work and improve our homes and families so that we can inspire others. Leadership tends to be easier for women who show initiative and who demonstrate potential even at family level,” said Sunamai.