BY BRENNA MATENDERE
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) women’s committee has called on government to declare the International Women’s Day a public holiday.
ZCTU women’s committee chairperson Mirriam Katumba made the call during International Women’s Day commemorations in Gweru on Saturday, which ZCTU president Peter Mutasa attended.
In a speech read on her behalf by committee secretary, Barbra Tanyanyiwa, Katumba said violence and harassment of women were on the increase, hence the need to put aside a day to advocate for an end to the vice.
“Women have suffered rape and torture as the political landscape deteriorated (in Zimbabwe). Violence and harassment has increased with intimidation and torture by the law enforcement agents continuing. The ZCTU women’s committee (therefore) demands International Women’s Day to be declared a public holiday in Zimbabwe,” she said.
The deteriorating political and socio-economic environment was impacting negatively on women, she added.
“Our socio-economic environment continues to deteriorate. Cash shortages, high taxation and high prices of basic commodities have become the order of the day.
The austerity measures introduced by the government, particularly from October 2018 to date have resulted in a very high cost of living and has driven the generality of Zimbabweans into poverty. This situation continues to impact negatively on women who have been assigned the caregiving role by society,” she said.