70% Zim women food insecure

File pic: A woman cooking

AROUND 70% of employed women are experiencing food insecurity in their households while 29% live below the poverty line, a European Union (EU)-United Nations (UN) partnership to eliminate violence against women and girls, Spotlight Initiative, has revealed.

The statistics were disclosed last week on Wednesday during the UN agency presentation at the #HeForShe Dialogue for diplomats and business leaders’ commemorations of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

“Around 29% of employed women in Zimbabwe live below the poverty line, while 70% experience food insecurity in their households,” the Spotlight Initiative said.

Furthermore, the EU-AU partnership said based on the 2020 World Values Survey, social sanctions persist against women in the workplace.

“The surveyed adults report that a woman working outside of her home was likely to be criticised, to have arguments with her husband, to have conflicts with her in-laws, and to be considered immoral in the community.

“For the subsample of those working outside the home (370 men and 154 women), around 24% (23% men and 27% women) report that women at their workplaces experience sexual harassment either daily or frequently,” the survey read.

Spotlight Initiative said to improve gender parity in Zimbabwe, there was need to tackle entrenched social norms that make it unacceptable for women to seek employment or work outside their homes.

“Recognising Cabinet’s decision to take on board the recommendation to ratify Convention C190, to prevent violence and harassment at the workplace, there is a need to expedite the ratification process to strengthen the country’s legal and policy frameworks.

“Operationalisation and implementation of policies and frameworks in place are: National workplace strategy; Sexual Harassment Policies; Public Service Gender and Sexual Harassment Module; Sectorial and private sector policies. There is need for wide dissemination of information, awareness raising and advocacy campaigns in both the public and private sectors on addressing sexual harassment,” Spotlight Initiative said.

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