Company closures: Women hit hardest

via Company closures: Women hit hardest – NewZimbabwe 11/02/2016

COMPANY closures that have seen thousands of workers losing their jobs have hit local women hardest as many are forced to become bread winners for the families, an opposition party has said.

Zimbabwe has struggled with an economic crisis that has lasted more than a decade with unemployment now estimated at more than 85 percent after thousands of workers were retrenched as companies either closed or scaled down operations.

Presenting his 2015 national budget, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said some 4,600 companies shut down between 2011 and 2014, causing 54,000 job losses country wide.

Roselyn Nkomo, Women’s Assembly secretary-general for the Tendai Biti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP, said the job loses had put a heavy burden on women as they struggle to fend for their families.

“The massive company closures, job losses and wanton dismissal of workers for example Sable Chemicals and Zimasco in 2015 affected most households in Zimbabwe and women in general,” said Nkomo.

She was addressing journalists at her party’s national working committee meeting in Gweru on Wednesday.

“Mothers are now the bread winners through buying and selling which has put a heavy burden and strain on their social livelihoods.”

Nkomo said because of the harsh economic environment and high unemployment, some women were resorting to prostitution for survival.

“In a country where the unemployment rate is almost 90 percent women are being subjected to illicit practices like prostitution to sustain their families,” she said.

She however, said her party was encouraging women to embrace self-sustenance and development as opposed to selling their bodies.

Nkomo took a swipe at the Zanu PF-led government for failing to uplift the living standards of women and Zimbabweans in general.

She said her party was working y to bring positive change to the lives of struggling locals.

“Most Zimbabwean women are living in total destitution due to the current harsh socio-economic environment,” said Nkomo.


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