Let's respect women

HARARE - As the country joins the rest of the world in commemorating International Women’s Day, we call upon the powers that be, who are presently entangled in virtually useless power struggles to focus more on providing for our mothers and sisters who mostly bear the full brunt of social, economic and political hardships spawned by their misrule.

It is common knowledge that women bear the burden of providing for families and are presently grappling with the effects of a devastating drought — many face starvation.

Sadly, the response from a broken government has been woefully inadequate with many desperate mothers presently in a dilemma over how they will provide for their children.

President Robert Mugabe recently revealed that the country lost $15 billion in shoddy diamonds dealings and while the noble thing for him would be to resign since he is the dismal chief executive officer of the country — that money could have been put to good use in empowering women who have not yet enjoyed the fruits of a free Zimbabwe and the attendant benefits and liberties.

We therefore call upon our parliamentarians to swiftly align our laws with the Constitution so that women realise their social and economic rights that have so far remained a pipe-dream.

Water in most urban settlements is now a rarity and sights of women queuing for the precious commodity are all too common and this is simply because of our government’s warped policies where a whopping $15 billion is lost without trace — just come to think of the wonders that such an amount can do to hard-pressed women wasting away in rural areas trapped in a vicious circle of poverty.

For the past decade, women have been bearing the full brunt of services collapse, pregnant women have had to deliver on their way to health facilities because the clinics are faraway or they could have been turned away by nurses who demand cash up front.

It is shocking that in this day and age, women do not have access to basics such as sanitary ware, water and health facilities. Regrettably, this is not because Zimbabwe is poor, it is because of misplaced priorities by those in power who spend most of the time either globe-trotting or tussling for political power while the masses wallow in poverty.

If Zimbabwe is to achieve meaningful social and economic development, then women have to be taken on board and their rights observed and respected not only by the government but also by society at large.

It is critical to end child marriages, to stop the marginalisation of women, and to give the girl child equal opportunities.

Sadly, cases of domestic violence and rape are a daily occurrence in our country and we hope that harsh sentences are imposed on those who violate women to stop such loathsome practices.


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