WOMEN and Law Southern Africa (WLSA) has donated groceries worth thousands of dollars to 300 women across Mutasa District as relief package to vulnerable groups bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic.
WLSA legal officer, Ms Ivy Chimedza, said the donations are for vulnerable women and girls who are living with disabilities, HIV and Aids, survivors of sexual and gender based violence, widows and elderly women.
She said WLSA embarked on the initiative to support vulnerable women and girls after realising that women are facing another silent pandemic of domestic violence.
“Many women and girls are bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic and the sharp increase in cases of domestic violence which has been termed the silent pandemic that has shadowed the Covid-19 crisis.
“In light of these, WLSA remembers women and girls who are marginalised and vulnerable and seeks to support fellow women and girls with food during the pandemic. The food hampers are meant to help them sustain themselves during the pandemic as they have not doing anything to provide for their families,” she said.
The project is funded by UN Trust Fund.
The hampers comprised 10kg bag of maize meal, two-litres of cooking oil and 2kgs of sugar.
WLSA is also providing support to vulnerable women and girls in Mbire, Zvimba and Makonde districts.
Mutasa North legislator, Honourable Chido Madiwa, welcomed the support from the development partner, stating that women need to support each other as they are suffering from GBV in silence in their homes.
She said according to surveys conducted by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Mutasa has one of the highest rates of sexual and gender based violence cases in the province. “If you empower a woman, you have empowered the whole nation. Women carry the larger part of the social burden, hence the need to capacitate them,” said Hon Madiwa.
Villagers expressed gratitude to WLSA for donating the goodies to them.
A beneficiary from Ward 23, Ms Precious Made, thanked WLSA for the groceries.
Ms Made is a vendor and had stopped going to work due to the national lockdown.
“Even before the pandemic we were suffering and no one remembered us. Thank you so much for the goodies. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were stuck at home and were not able to fend for our families,” she said.