Zimbabweans joined the rest of the world Thursday in commemorating International Rural Women’s Day.
According to the United Nations, International Day of Rural Women recognizes the critical role and contribution of rural women, including indigenous women, in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.
Many organizations in Zimbabwe are working hand in hand with local communities in catering for the needs of rural women.
Febie Dube of Sinampande, Binga, Matabeleland North province, said she is working with several other women in trying to improve their standard of living.
Dube said, “There are 28 groups that normally get together, contribute some money and give to one of their members who repays the money with some interest after buying and selling various goods.
“I have personally managed to buy a cow and construct an iron-roof house for the family with the money raised from buying and selling various goods. Some of our members buy goats and sell them in Harare. At times they exchange their goods with valuable items like chicken and blankets which are sold for the betterment of their households.”
She said time has come for women to take care of their families as most men are no longer employed due to lack of jobs in Zimbabwe, which is currently facing serious social and economic challenges.
“I urge all women to stand up and cater for the needs of their families,” said Dube, whose group works with Basilwizi Trust, a community development organization, founded in 2002 by the local people of the Zambezi valley.
In its website, the organization says the existence of Basilwizi Trust is a demonstration of concern and determination by Zambezi valley communities to demand and restore their dignity taken away from them by their displacement from the Zambezi River banks.
“Poverty, the main cause of vulnerability to food insecurity, is one of the defining features of the Zambezi valley. The Zambezi valley districts rank least on the Zimbabwe development index and yet they have great potential to be better from the vast natural resources found in the region. Thus Basilwizi works to assist the communities of Binga, Gokwe north, Hwange and Nyaminyami administrative districts to realize own development and emancipation from extreme poverty through community led interventions.”
Single mother, Tadiwanashe Chibvongodze of Buhera, Manicaland province, also told Studio 7 she is struggling to make ends meet.
“It is difficult to stay in the rural areas with kids while you have no husband. In our country there are no jobs. I have three children and I depend on a poultry project which is difficult to run since people don’t pay for chickens due to hardships. I hope the government will one day give us jobs,” said Chibvongodze.