…calls for access to health facilities, quality service delivery
The second wave of Covid-19 has brought about a new way of life and doing business across the globe as the world battles to contain the deadly pandemic which has claimed over 800 lives in Zimbabwe.
Companies have closed, jobs have been lost and this has raised tempers in homes, prompting gross Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in Zimbabwean homes, with women being the major victims.
Women advocacy groups have pledged not to tire in their fight against GBV and for a fair society where women and men are equal in all aspects.
Speaking during a recent CEADZ grassroots meeting, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe Masvingo Chapter Chair, Joyce Mhungu said her organization was engaging relevant stakeholders on the service delivery challenges facing women in the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
“We are trying to forward issues affecting women to relevant authorities especially GBV cases. However, we have noted that women have so many challenges especially service delivery and access to health services. In this lockdown we will not tire; we will continue working tirelessly to achieve an equal society,” said Mhungu.
During the workshop, local women lamented the inconveniences they claimed they suffer when they want to access the police Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) especially on weekends and during holidays.
“Most GBV cases happen during the night, weekends or holidays and the VFU people don’t work during those times. It is therefore a great inconvenience and sometimes they respond at a snail’s pace. Something should be done to improve the way VFU operates because cases are increasing day by day,” said one participant.
Other women rights advocacy groups said they have also adapted to the new normal and efforts to improve the welfare of women in rural areas were underway.
The Institute for Community Development in Zimbabwe (ICODZIM) has continued to work with women in rural areas in their effort to improve livelihoods of women in Masvingo and beyond.
ICODZIM programs manager, Nyaradzo Mutande said they were in a drive to train health workers in rural communities and that they were conducting online seminars advocating for access to Sexual Reproductive Health services during the lockdown,” said Mutande.
“We have managed to train a total of 40 women health workers from Zaka and Chiredzi on rapid response and how they can help the Ministry of Health in the fight against Covid-19. During this lockdown we are doing advocacy on online platforms for consistent access to Sexual Reproductive Health services as we adapt to the new normal,” said Mutande.