Masvingo – A research conducted by a Masvingo based advocacy group, Institute for Community Development (ICOD) has established that women with disabilities are more affected by the effects of Covid-19 pandemic than their male counterparts.
In their research titled, The impact on women with disabilities (WWDs) in Masvingo urban, Zimbabwe, ICOD said their physical conditions coupled with social cultural roles as mothers exacerbate their untold suffering to disasters.
“The challenges experienced by people with disabilities (PWDs) increase the already existing social inequalities between them and the able bodies. It is wise to note that amongst PWDs, WWDs are considered more vulnerable to diverse disasters than their male counterparts.
The WWDs physical conditions coupled with social cultural roles exacerbate their untold suffering to disasters like the current Covid-19,” the research paper reads.
The research noting that WWDs are at great risk of being infected by Covid-19 recommended that government takes action towards protecting WWDs.
“…stakeholders must establish and implement vibrant awareness campaigns so as to educate guardians, WWDs and their caregivers on how best to reduce chances of increasing infections in households,” reads part of the recommendations.
“The Zimbabwean government should consider downscaled focus on disabilities moving away from systems of heaping PWDs in one bracket.
“Herein, each group such as WWDs should have separate and more elaborate provisions to cater for them during disasters like Covid-19,” the recommendations further read.
UN women revealed that one in every five women in Zimbabwe live with disability and the number is also estimated to surpass the figure.
The disabled, according the Section 56 of the Zimbabwean Constitution are however equal beings to able bodied people and should thus not suffer neglection.