Home » Human Rights » Corruption Hits Women the Most – Lobby Group

A LOCAL women’s rights lobby group has bemoaned the continued focus on high level corruption in the country by government and the media while forgetting the negative impact the scourge has had on the lives of ordinary women in their day to day lives.

The Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) said Monday petty corruption common among public institutions offering routine services had gone largely unnoticed.

“We are concerned that the corruption discourse has so far been at a high level and focused on corporate governance while ignoring the impact of corruption on public service delivery and how this in turn affects poor women’s access to public services such as health, water and sanitation. An example is the recently reported cases of midwives downing tools due to alleged abuse of public funds,” ZWRCN said in a statement.

“Petty corruption has become endemic and it affects many women, particularly those involved in micro enterprise, cross border trade, and other areas where women are seeking livelihoods on a daily basis.”

The lobby group further said corruption tended to drive the cost of service delivery and cost of production often resulting in poor service delivery.

Said the group, “Corruption exacerbates poverty and women are the majority of the poor corruption disempowers women, for example there is a recently reported case of women and girls dislocated by the Tokwe Mukorsi humanitarian disaster being forced to sell their bodies to access food corruptively managed by authorities.”

The group called for the imposition of stiffer penalties on those caught in corrupt dealings and further urged fellow civil society groups to arm female MPs with enough facts and statistics to push for a ger campaign in the august house for women’s concerns to be taken more seriously.

Meanwhile, University of Zimbabwe lecturer and Zanu PF apologist, Dr Charity Manyeruke has called on the Zanu PF led government to exercise its influence as the country’s governing authority to reduce the impact of the scourge on ordinary Zimbabweans.

Dr Manyeruke was dismayed with that poverty levels in Zimbabwe remained high with 62.6% of households deemed poor while 16.2% were considered extremely poor.

“ZANU PF slept on the job for the past 34 years, putting a blind eye on corruption and it is women who are the majority of voters with 83% of them being employed in vulnerable employment and I’m challenging women in leadership positions to be vigilant and stop corruption so that women can benefit from public funds,” she said.

Dr Manyeruke further says that infant mortality, which stands at 57 per 1000 live births, can be lessened if government dealt effectively with corruption in its public health institutions.

She said this has manifested in staff and drug shortages as a result of the abuse of public funds.

Source : New Zimbabwe