Women in Leadership Development (WILD) has implored the government to address the heavy burden of unpaid care work experienced by rural women. This was part of the organisation’s message to mark International Rural Women’s Day.
The day is set aside to recognise the role of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
“WILD urges the government to address the heavy burden of unpaid care work experienced by women in Zimbabwe. Due to climate change in Matabeleland North and South, women travel long distances in search of water and firewood and this places on them a burden and their participation in decision-making processes,” WILD noted in a statement.
“Women and girls continue to the brunt of unpaid domestic care work and it is unfortunate that the scales are slanted not in their favor as progress on achieving gender equality remains slow. This entrenched their vulnerability to poverty throughout their lifetime and further wider the gender equality gap between men and women.”
WILD stated that unpaid care work relates to activities that focus on caring for a household such as cooking, cleaning, collecting firewood, caring for the ill and elderly and children for no pay.
“Rural women’s importance in providing health care cannot be undermined and as the world places measures towards achieving gender equality, actions that address the disparity between women’s and men’s care responsibilities should become a priority,” the statement read.
“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality and addressing rising challenges in unpaid care work is not only the right thing to do but the key to eradicating acute poverty.”
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology