FEMALE social workers have been commended for working hard in quarantine centres at the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in Zimbabwe at a time little was known about the disease.
Speaking during the belated International Women’s Day held in the capital, the Minister of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Professor Paul Mavima said this year’s theme had special emphasis on Covid-19 whereby it was observed that women were at the forefront in fighting Covid-19.
“These women have worked so hard in quarantine centres making sure that the ill are catered for. Even after work, at home they take care of the family therefore we need to cherish their wonderful work during this month of the International Women’s Day,” he said.
He added: “Section 80 of the constitution gives women full and equal dignity of the person with men, and also confers on women the same rights as men regarding custody and guardianship of children.”
The celebrations were held under the theme: “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal Future in A Covid-19 World”.
Prof Mavima also said women stood at the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis, as health care workers, caregivers, innovators, community organizers and as most exemplary and effective national leaders in combating the pandemic.
“In my ministry more than half of the frontline staff, manning quarantine centres are women. The crisis has highlighted both the centrality of your contributions and the disproportionate burden that you carry as women. Women leaders and women organisations have demonstrated their skills, knowledge and networks to effectively lead in Covid-19 response and recovery efforts,” he said.
Prof Mavima also said innovative ways to advance gender equality and empowerment of women and sustainable development goals can only be achieved through the removal of social and cultural barriers that limit women’s achievements.
“Earlier, the role of women was limited to household chores and even the women themselves were brought up with the same mind. Due to those beliefs women could not go out for work. However, this thought has changed and women began realizing that they, too can have careers and a future,” he added.
He noted that he hopes to see women achieving the 52 percent gender equality in parliaments and other spheres of life that have to do with development and women empowerment
Director –Disability Affairs in the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Christine Peta, said during Covid-19 pandemic women and girls are the most affected in as fare as gender based violence issues.
“In the tables of leadership and Covid-19 women and girls with disabilities are not spared by the harmful practices that intern affect their health and social well-being. The blind cannot see their perpetrators of violence and the deaf cannot shout for help when abuse hence such cases have become rife in this difficult period of Covid-19,” she said.