Zimbabwe: Statement On the Occasion of the International Women’s Day 2021

Platform for Youth and Community Development Trust (PYCD) is part of the world that is commemorating this year’s International Women’s Day. The theme for 2021 which reads Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world fits into the work of PYCD, an organisation that is thriving to witness sustainable community development through strengthening the rights of girls and young women, by building their resilience to champion gender -equity in Chipinge district.

To achieve this, PYCD is running various campaigns that place women at the centre of community programming. One such serious campaign which is in motion is aimed at intercepting the misinformation on Covid-19 in most rural areas of Manicaland. This campaign which communicates to the theme of the year has been compelled by the high levels of distrust, emotions and anger against the government of Zimbabwe to the extent of generating conspiracy theories that is making it very difficult to implement Covid-19 interventions such as the inoculation of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.

In all this network of misperception, it is the women who continue to be at the receiving end as the country is drawn into the battle of masculinity and survivor of the fittest. The adoption of Covid-19 lock downs as measure to contain the pandemic has brought more harm than good to women. The hope of achieving gender equity is being dashed as cases of gender based violence continue to rise locally and globally.

PYCD is working closely with inspirational women who have chosen to take the challenge in advancing gender equality in their homes and communities. The work by female traditional leaders and female councillors in Chipinge has given the work of PYCD an edge in the agenda to empower women leadership. The work of these women of valour has been combined with a team of 25 Gender Activists, 10 aunts and 5 Uncles who are working as ambassadors for PYCD within their local wards every day.