Emerging evidence indicates that the Covid-19 is exposing and exacerbating existing gender inequalities globally
By Patience Nkomo
Last week I wrote to the Sunday Express about the tragedy of teenage pregnancies is in fuelling the problem of child marriages, especially in Zimbabwe.
This week I am staying close with that topic and unpacking what the TYP is thinking in those types of discussions.
Lately everyone has been concerned about the effects which covid 19 has brought about to the youths, the girl-child and communities as a whole.
It hasn’t been easy to secure resources for people to survive and leave under a healthy environment.
Have we considered the disabled amongst us in communities all over the country.
Come to think of it, disabled people have been failing to live a proper and healthy life even before this pandemic came around.
Yes we have been worried about the businesses and all those financial constraints, but how much attention have we been giving to the disabled communities.
That is why as the TYP we are here to take a look at such issues and ensure that they are catered for.
A community includes every individual not considering their physical state. We all have the right to access equal distribution of resources.
As one may go about you will discover that most of the disabled individuals are street vendors and are found in the poorest part of the communities which is not a good thing.
Of cause it is encouraged that everyone becomes skilled and manage to go out there and trade their skills with money for survival which has become a norm in Zimbabwe.
However the point is not stating that they should not work for themselves but the conditions they are going through just to survive are just unbearable.
Looking from the transport sector to food security and education, you could see that the government has still long way to go so as to ensure that vulnerable people are well taken care of.
Imagine finding them begging in the streets and some of them trying to sell without enough essentials that protect them from covid 19.
They are easily exposed to the virus.
Everyone at the moment is fearing for themselves without trying to look at the next person and our wish is that the disabled communities get looked after.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and measures taken to contain and mitigate the virus, are associated with a range of secondary impacts on gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls and those who are physically challenged in Zimbabwe, and across the world.
Without sufficient attention to preventing and responding to GBV in COVID-19 response and recovery measures, women’s and girls’ rights across the world are threatened.
Emerging evidence indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing and exacerbating existing gender inequalities globally, with increasing reports of GBV, including domestic violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, sexual exploitation and abuse, violence by state officials and armed guards, and online violence and abuse.
Whilst disaggregated data is limited, evidence suggests that women and girls are at heightened risk include adolescent girls, women and girls with disabilities, LBTQI+ women, older women and refugee and migrant women and girls.
This report summarises available evidence on GBV against women and girls in Zimbabwe during the COVID pandemic.
It starts with Zimbabwe contextual information (Section 2) and a summary of evidence collected as part of this evidence synthesis.
Section 4 considers the trends and forms of GBV that women and girls are being exposed to, including intimate partner violence, violence at service delivery points and child marriage.
Section 5 identifies key data on the women and girls most at risk of GBV in Zimbabwe at this time, including poor women and women in rural areas, women and girls with disabilities, adolescent girls, and LBTQI+ women and girls.
Section 6 examines the drivers of gender-based violence during the pandemic, looking specifically at girls’ education, access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and the question is are all these statements stated in the sections taken seriously?
As discussed in the last article the girl-child has always been considered vulnerable in all communities world wide.
Though we might try to outlook and shy out at this issue it will always remain the most trending topic and important that women and girls are crying out for.
We also want our disabled women to be seen out there and fully supported by the government.
Considering that the Covid 19 pandemic has affected every part of youths we find that disabled girls and women have been left the most disadvantaged as they struggle to survive against GBV, finances, education, health services and sanitary provision.
As TYP we aim to empower every girl and woman out there as we believe that “disability it not inability.”
Patience Nkomo is The Young Patriots Secretary For Finance. The article is published in partnership with The Sunday Express E-edition
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