Women have always been regarded as the caregivers in families. Traditionally responsible for chores and taking care of the family. With the new norm after the coming of Covid-19. Many women who depend on food to mouth barely have enough to eat. The lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 made it worse for women. It is difficult to make ends meet and provide food for their children.
Girls and women are more disadvantaged in any pandemic outbreak. Some hardly have enough to eat. Some girls and women are unable to buy sanitary wear with some opting to use old clothes as sanitary wear. The exposure caused by the use of unclean cloth by women and girls can have many health effects such as urinary infections, urinary tract
infections, or fungal infections. At the end of the day, women and girls are always at the negative receiving end. Issues of increased teen pregnancies increased as a result of Economic challenges worsened by the pandemic. Hunger is the major result of the increase in teen pregnancies. Amongst the most affected are also girls going to colleges. With some companies closing and some not operating for certain periods some parents could hardly make enough to send their children to school. This pushed some girls to resort to “Blessers” to raise funds for their school fees. This exposes the girl child to a lot of sexually transmitted diseases and compromising their health as they will be desperate to get money for their upkeep and fees.
According to Zimbabwe’s government, nearly 5,000 teenage girls became pregnant in January and February and about 1,800 entered early marriages during the same period. Mostly girls living in high-density areas like Epworth and Mbare were among some of the most affected. Even during the peak of Covid-19 women were the most exposed as they had to go into long lines to fetch water such lines meant social distance would be hard to keep up. Most women in Zimbabwe are self-employed and to make a living they had to depend on selling their products from their homes. To add on, some women have been unable to afford pills for family planning as it has been worsened by the Economic situation in Zimbabwe. When male family heads fail to provide for their families all the burden falls on the women who will have to play a major role in making sure the children do not sleep on an empty stomach. This for some women has pushed them into becoming sex workers with some failing to make much from being vendors and resorting to selling their bodies to earn some money. The pandemic forced some workers both men and women to be retrenched and this accelerated worsening the situation for the already disadvantaged women. It can never be overlooked that at the end of the day pandemic or no pandemic women and girls are the most affected and vulnerable groups in society.