By Staff Reporter

GURUVE -Women in Zimbabwe have over the years tried their best to be independent by striving to engage themselves in male dominated industries such as mining and farming but they continue to face a plethora of hurdles.

They endure a lot of discrimination; despite the fact that Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.  

Many of them have tried to venture into farming but have faced a lot of “man made” obstacles, this has been so  despite the fact that they are in reality as mentally rich as men and can do whatever man can do provided the opportunity and resources.

Touched with this plight, a local non state funded organization, Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) championing humanitarian aid and community development projects in Mashonaland Central province, with funding from the Canada Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI) has come to their rescue.

The development agency is running a six months project at Siyalima Farm in Guruve titled Improving gender equality among smallholder farmer families in Zimbabwe through transformational capacity building and advocacy targeting all 29 women farmers resettled at the farm.

 The project began in November 2020 ending in April 2021.

Guruve district is one of Mashonaland Central’s eight administrative districts and is amongst the best four agricultural districts of the country suitable for crops, livestock and apiculture farming.

In a brief provided to Nhau by DAPP, they said the project has been influenced by the fact that women farmers at the farm continue to face a lot of discrimination and are having oppressed bargaining powers.

The organisation says:

“Patriarchal norms create disadvantages for women farmers, specifically with regards to accessing productive resources (credit, extension services, inputs, information and markets) and exclusion from decision making and leadership positions which increases their dependence on men.”

 And with this in mind, the development agency is offering the female farmers at Siyalima good farming practices lessons through capacity building workshops.

“Capacity strengthening and access to the productive resources will help Siyalima women farmers maximize economic opportunities, increase productivity, and improve food security, education and healthcare, since women tend to reinvest more in their households. Health education and promotion will be integrated in the project with a key focus on HIV, TB and COVID-19 pandemic to promote the health and wellbeing of target communities,” said Mr. Paul Majongwe the project manager.

DAPP is a local nongovernmental organisation that has been working in support of the government in empowering the most disadvantaged communities to drive self-sustaining changes, addressing the root causes of poverty, discrimination and vulnerability using locally adapted and innovative approaches and implementing projects to help people develop skills and knowledge that build on their experiences.

It implements quality community-led projects to improve people’s lives and well-being mainly in five technical areas: Community Development, Environment, Agriculture, Health and Emergencies.