The Continued Covid induced Lockdowns in the Country continued driving the plight of Women and Young Girls in Matobo District into more challenging situations as income levels dropped due to the worsening macro-economic situations in the country. Matobo, a District punctuated by high levels of female unemployment, experiencing plunging economic outcomes as cross border trade, a major contributor to the local women’s economy was negatively affected. The status quo continues being a key driver of factors leading to women’s and Girls’ vulnerability both economically and socially.
During the last Quarter, program implementation areas experienced 10 cases of pregnancy among high school girls, all linked to artisanal miners. Cases of Sexual Violence and statutory rape were also reported in the program areas. This was due to the increase in the number of unregulated illegal gold mining in the area by artisanal miners. the law enforcement agents seem to be turning a blind eye to the situation as perpetrators are not brought to justice and continue inciting acts of sexual violence to vulnerable Women and Girls. Often the offenders who impregnant minors are highly mobile and move on to other mining areas, leaving the girls and their families (who are often very poor) to take care of the children. The waiting young Waiting mothers need preparation kits and sanitary wear to use after delivery.
During the Quarter, the HOCIC team managed to reach Young Women and girls through comprehensive sexual health education in conjunction with the National AIDS Council. 100 young women and Girls in Secondary and tertiary institutions were sensitized on Sexual Hygiene, Accessing Sexual Reproductive Health Services and Condom Use education. During the Seminar, Girls also noted the challenges that they face such the continuous rising cost of female health amenities especially to unemployed young women and girls.
In the coming Quarter, HOCIC envisages to continue fundraising for the Pad Drive through the GlobalGiving Platform. The team also plans to carry out operational research on how to reduce the cost of Pads and Sanitary Wear for Girls in Rural Zimbabwe. HOCIC believes that sanitary wear should be easily accessible to all Women and Girls. HOCIC will also continue to train Young Women and Girls on sustainable low capital Livelihoods and Business in order to increase their self-reliance.
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