Covid-19 poses threat to rural women’s health — gender commission

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THE Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC) says the Covid-19 era has impacted negatively on the health of rural women and girls who have had a nightmare accessing reproductive health services.
In a statement to mark the International Day of Rural Women that was celebrated on Thursday under the theme, “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of Covid-19,” ZGC highlighted several challenges being faced by women and girls in rural areas during this era.

The commission said while reproductive health challenges affect all women, rural women are worse off.
“The right to health care is paramount as access to essential treatment and protective clothing against the highly contagious Covid-19 is an issue of life and death to women in general and those living in rural areas in particular.

“Access to quality health care such as reproductive health services has become a nightmare during the pandemic.

For those women living in remote areas, it has been virtually impossible for them to access such essential
health services,” ZGC said.

The commission added that the lack of information and access to technology is leading rural women into exploitation and abuse.

“Lack of access to authoritative and timely information is another challenge. Information is power and in this day and age where access to information is techno-centred, rural women are further relegated to the peripheries of the
source of power as they have limited access to technology.

“Development and empowerment models which are primarily techno-centred are therefore by-passing rural women and girls. “If anything, rural women are seriously exposed to misinformation and in most cases
leading to their exploitation and abuse,” said he commission.

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