Lack of alternative sources of energy is making women suffer as they walk for long distances to look for firewood Minister of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Nyasha Chikwinya revealed.
Chikwinya who was speaking during the Zimbabwe Energy Regulation Authority (ZERA) Conference on Women in Energy said that the situation in Zimbabwe is very critical as women walk for 50 to 60 kilometres (km) in search of the wood.
“The situation in Zimbabwe is very critical, 80 per cent of women live in rural areas and they need firewood for cooking; and of late its not just the rural areas and the urban setup” said Chikwinya.
The Gender Minister also said that urban women resolve to firewood because at times the cost of electricity is not affordable, in the suspicious Zimbabwean economy.
Women Affairs Minister, who survived the just ended cabinet reshuffle encouraged women to venture into the energy sector which is male-dominated.
Chikwinya said that there is a need for 50/50 gender equality in all sectors of development for women empowerment during the ZERA conference.
“A woman who is empowered is not a woman who can easily be bartered,” said Chikwinya
“We don’t want to fight with our husbands by zvibhakera (fist fights) Women are smarter than that”
Women were also encouraged to apply and get a share of the USD15 million allocated from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
ZERA conference takes place as the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child.
The development also takes place at a time when Enthuse Africa plays Neria, a woman based drama in celebration of the girl child at the National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe for its First Friday. The First Friday, which plays Neria movie on the 13th of October 2017 is a monthly event that has been attended by famous disk jockeys (dj) and radio presenters