Several women in the Midlands have called for a gender-responsive budget which will curb the burden of unpaid care work.
This was revealed during a public hearing meeting on unpaid care work by the Parliament of Zimbabwe through the portfolio committee on women’s affairs, community, small and medium enterprises development which was held at Mtapa Hall.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting Economic Empowerment Cluster Chairperson for Women ‘s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ) and also National General Secretary for Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) Cynthia Mukamuri said parliament should consider the redistribution of the budget to curtail unpaid domestic care work.
“Prof Mthuli Ncube, in his budget, should finance certain sections that will relieve women from poverty. That will ease the burden of domestic work on women and girls,” said Mukamuri.
Unpaid care work refers to all unpaid services provided within a household for its members.
Another participant, Grace Mazambani, added that government should avail cheaper machinery such as washing machines and dishwashers to help alleviate the effort put in to do chores.
“Machines such as washing machines should be cheaper so that even men will help with household chores and reduce the burden on women,” said Mazambani.
The parliamentary portfolio has managed to do public hearings in Midlands, Bulawayo, Masvingo, Marondera, Mutare and other cities.
A petition on unpaid care work was handed to the parliament in 2021 by almost 60 women organisations across the country.
Most women in Zimbabwe are the most affected when it comes to unpaid care work due to the country’s economic status.
Gweru Ratepayers and Residents Association (GRRA) Director Cornelia Selipiwe indicated that women should be appreciated as they play a pivotal role in the development of society.
“Back in the day, women received cushioning allowances from their husbands as a token of appreciating the domestic work. As residents we must push for policies that also place women at the centre of power,” he said.