The Global up-surge of Covid-19 has left a sad tale on the side of women and children who now face the brutal slap of social and economic injustices.
By Nevson Mpofu
According to ZIMCODD [ Zimbabwe Coalition On Debt And Development ] Report shared to Press leaves gaps currently created beyond repair by covid-19 if stronger Global solutions at country levels are not put in place.
The Report plunges on issues of good governance, transparency and accountability exercise to be raised on the sidelines of equitable gender mainstreaming, equality. Gender justice woven by equality and equity in women during this pathetic era empathy women and children at most for their survival in alleviation of poverty and vulnerability.
However, despite the concerted effort put across by women and children organizations, much that flows carried on by covid-19 effects erodes on women and children’s rights more imp actively. These are on the edges of poverty and vulnerability. Earlier on during the 21 days of lockdown, bevy of women like Virginia Muwanigwa , Director of Gender Commission Zimbabwe and Fiona Magaya of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Union among others on the fore-front reiterated on the increase of gender based violence , gender- in-justice and lack of equality exposed to affect women.
‘’During this time of covid-19, women remain impacted by gender-based violence which has been exacerbated by the pandemic world-wide. The erosion of family incomes exposes women to violence. This comes with divorces, separations. Poverty is likely to increase, vulnerability affecting women and children if immediate action is not taken.’’
Fiona Magaya adds that women have at most become discriminated, this widening the gap of gender inequality in families already hard hit by poverty. We have to take collective action to fight these in-equalities at family and community levels. Reducing inequalities is vital is critical as we move on towards in the inside of this pandemic.
‘’Because inequalities there rises wide gaps of discrimination in women. Poverty increase opens way for violence in marital relations. This leads to further gender in-justice which results in women and children marginalization.
We stand by women at this hour in time using several International protocols like the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women [CEDAW] , laws and policies at regional and national levels .’’
The report from ZIMCODD further states that women are on the frontlines of Health provision. This means they take care of family members, children and themselves. . Vulnerability comes with the role they take to provide health services. As they strive to bring sanity at homes and in communities, family incomes are eroded, creating chances of gender-based violence, gender injustice, inequity and in equality due to low levels or not at all of the flow of gender mainstreaming. Taking a voice high pitched up in response, a nurse by profession at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Clara Nyoni said women provide the most health services. she hits up the subject,
‘’Women are on the frontline in terms of health service provision to populations. It is therefore imperative to hold Public Health and Population Health accountable above all Community Health at community, family and national levels. Therefore, Primary Health Care is vital now. There is no doubt women do all the work right like now. Z Most of our patients are women vulnerable due to covid-19. There is less doubt to say.’’ she poses.
World Health Organization reports that from 8 June 2020 187,875 cases of corona had been documented in 54 countries of the African Region. This means strong commitments in Health budgets at Global, regional and country levels.
A Health Expert in Nutrition working with ZICOSUNA [ Zimbabwe Civil Society Organizations Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance] recommends Governments to increase budgets in Health provision at this point in time. Besides, Infrastructural development helps countries prevent covid-19. He advises countries to follow up on the World Organization guidelines so as to meet Global standards. He concludes by making a point on the Abuja Declaration
‘’The Abuja Declaration recommends countries to make effort to come up with 15% amount of budget so as to fight this pandemic. It means then countries need to increase their budgets in covid-19, increase nutrition levels of finance flows so as well to curb malnutrition. This is enshrined in Article 16 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights’’
‘’In order to reduce in-equalities during this time Investments in Health reduces challenges faced by women and children. During this Health crisis nutrition levels decrease. This is a bite of poverty and vulnerability on women and children. Gender injustice follows with impacts on women themselves’’.
A Legislator Dubangani Mpofu standing for Zvishabane- Runde Constituency says there is need to lift people out of poverty by addressing social -economic opportunities at community to national level. He adds that there must be full representation in political spheres by all women without fear and favor, with transparency and accountability.
‘’There must be social and economic opportunities created for women so as to curb gender injustices, inequality and marginalization of women and children. Increase in health budgets makes countries address as well challenges faced by women.’’ , he said
Above all, a number of Politicians and Members of Parliament asked to comment advises the Government working with the Anti-Corruption Commission to curb corruption, illicit finance flows and capital flight. Curbing corruption puts women and children on the safe side during these hard times of covid- 19 , experts , academicians , policy markers and implementers note .
NEVSON MPOFU A RENOWNED MULTI-AWARDED WINNING JOURNALIST IS AS WELL A DEVELOPMENT STUDIES LECTURER AT CHARTERED INSTITUTE FOR PURCHASING AND SUPPLY AT MSU CAMPUS IN HARARE .. HE IS ADVANCING IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ..