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Crisis Report - Issue 229
in Zimbabwe Coalition
October 16, 2013
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wears the face of rural women’
have urged the government to continue looking into the plight of
rural women, speaking on the eve of the International Day of Rural
Women which was commemorated on Tuesday, October 15, they argued
poverty wears the face of rural women.
whose organisation Institute
for Young Women Development (IYWD) works with rural women in
Mashonaland Province, said that although women in general have peculiar
challenges, these were more defined among rural women.
wears the face of women, especially rural women,” Changachirere
said. “Women in those areas lack access to information either
because they can not afford radios, televisions and newspapers,
or because the transmission is not good and newspapers follow highways.
is also the real issue that even if newspapers reach them they would
opt to use the one dollar to buy relish.”
said violence against women either of the domestic or political
type was rife in the remote areas and it went unreported, as well
as girls being married off at a tender age because the parents wanted
“to have economic benefits” such as bride price at the
expense of the girls’ education.
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition (CiZC) Vice-chairperson Grace Chirenje said the government
had moved a stride forward in terms of policy frameworks, although
these needed to be strengthened by action.
has come up with a lot of policies to address the challenges,”
Chirenje said, “but some of these policies have not translated
into tangible benefits.
although there are efforts to increase women representation in politics,
representation of rural women remains very low.
is not doing well so the burden of labour in rural areas falls on
women. “However, there is a degree of consciousness that is
growing on the cultural issues that affect women.”
The United Nations
(UN) office in Zimbabwe said one of the challenges affecting women
in rural areas was a high incidence of maternity mortality. The
organisation said “home births are three times more common
in rural areas compared to urban areas.” Zimbabwe has one
of the highest maternity mortality in the region pegged at 960 deaths
per 100 000 live births.
A female medical
practitioner and health activist, Dr Rutendo Bonde of the Zimbabwe
Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR), said the health nightmare
for rural women that contributes to high maternal mortality was
due to inadequacy of infrastructure and poor access to the facilities.
of the peripheral centres are not manned by experienced health personnel,”
Bonde said. “There is also shortage of midwives as these are
concentrated in urban areas and central hospitals.”
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