Gender Equity

Gender Equity

(Changing the face of Poverty)

The term feminisation of poverty is used to express the continuity and prevalence of poverty amongst women.  Women constitute most of the poor, as a result gender and poverty are intertwined.In Zimbabwe, 68% of the female heads of households are poorer and living under poverty line as compared to their male counterparts (FAO, 2017). When women are poor, they are deprived of their position as actors in development, within the society and economically. More focus has been put towards self-sustainable programs which give room for continuity and community ownership. Guided by SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 5(gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth and SDG 10(reduce inequalities), Harambe Trust is engaging with women to change the face of poverty in Zimbabwe.

Although there is a world-wide trend towards women emerging from their isolation to establish their own self-help groups and rights groups, the situation in developing countries remains quite different. In the available literature on women in developing countries, it is often stated that these women face a double handicap and discrimination due to their gender and developing world status.

In the Zimbabwean context, gender equity is an issue for a large majority of women, given the socio-cultural practices and traditional attitudes of society. Therefore, many of the issues that are faced by women in general in a male dominated society include having limited access to education and employment, the problems arising from traditional cultural practices that tend to seclude women from public life, and so on, which also have an impact on women. Although poverty leads to inequality and marginalization of both men and women. This group is not homogeneous. Women from developing countries face certain unique disadvantages compared to men, such as difficulties in fulfilling traditionally expected gender roles, or difficulties in accessing rehabilitation services which tend to be dominated by male professionals. In many developing countries, this poverty can exacerbate these disadvantages, limiting access to resources and to rehabilitation services. There is little literature describing potential strategies to overcome disadvantages that are specific to women in developing countries.

In the Zimbabwean educational arena, women and girls fare less well than their male counter parts.There is a lack of public awareness amongst families that women need education on equal terms with their male siblings. While the Government of Zimbabwe ratified CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women), and legal framework exists to support educational programming geared towards women.  Little is done to enforce this legislation.

Economic independence of women is instrumental to transformative empowerment. However, women are systematically excluded from the mainstream workforce misleadingly being projected as incapable of productive work. Sexual and intellectual stereotyping further hampers opportunity and growth in the work market. Women are seriously under-represented in vocational training (World Bank, 2009: 104), and are often allowed to pursue homemaking and handcraft training that is often prescribed to women. Harambe Trust Challenges the status quo. Empowering and equipping women to have agency in Changing the Face of Poverty.