By Lisa Magodo
HARARE – Women have been challenged to engage in projects that brings empowerment in their livelihood as it assist in reducing cases of gender based violence that has been highly caused by poverty and the deadly pandemic Covid 19
The Graca Machel Trust Network of African business Women Zimbabwe Chapter recently hosted a Women’s market in Harare with the aim of uplifting women in businesses to improve their marketing strategy ,packaging among others
In an interview with this publication, Mrs Happines Nyakudya a farmer from Seke she said doing business is essential as it allow women to be financially stable for themselves and reduce dependence syndrome to their spouses.
“Having an opportunity to do business as women is crucial as we are able to cater for our families and reduce the burden of financial support from our husbands by starting up small businesses .”
A food processor and farmer from Seke Mrs Muzvongi highlighted that poverty is the major cause of violence in communities so if women are given a platform to uplift their ideas into bigger products by being taught on how to package and new marketing skills it enables them to create more income and allow them to be financially stable and reduces the numbers of petty issues that occur in marriages due to lack of funds .
“Meeting other stakeholders in business has allowed us to learn more on how to market and to certify our products and it shows that women can work with their own hands to feed their families .”
Although empowerment might assist in reducing the gender based violence there is also need to implement proper ways to ensure that both gender to accept that it is necessary and beneficial as it can continue to cause violence as the males might feel challenged
One gender based violence victim who is into fashion designing Ms Joyline Chimbodzo said that she was once arrested and lost her business and house after the former husband had grabbed her house and business away from her using his power and influence.
I was abused my former husband as he took advantage of me by using his power by changing my houses name into his name and got me arrested saying I was refusing to move away from the house that he claimed to be his.
Ms Chimbodza said her story taught her that most women are being abused and thrown into jail because they lack knowledge of the laws that they can defend themselves.
being in jail made me realise that most women are suffering due to lack of knowledge of the laws and in the end their husbands may get them arrested which will cause more burden to the remaining children as they might end up living in the streets.
Chimbodza said after she was released from prison she joined other women in designing bags and also teaching other to do so and that has taught that women have to be strong and not to stop to do businesses as they allow them to be stable.
I do a lot of projects in my community in Kuwadzana as am into designing bags and a crossborder too and this platiform by Graca Machel has opened doors for us to market and to learn new ideas of marketing.”
The chairperson of the Gracia Machel trust Dr Hesphina Rukati said the increasing financial literacy and stability of women is crucial in homes as it reduces economic abuse.
The Trust was established in 2015 in Zimbabwe with aim of improving Economic empowerment of women and has plan of spreading it wings to all the provinces in the country.