08 March, 2022
Bulawayo Vendors and Traders Association (BVTA) this year again joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Women’s Day, which comes as the world continues to navigate COVID-19 pandemic under the theme: “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
As we commemorate the International Women’s Day, our hearts are with the women in the informal economy, who strive day and night to provide for their families in the face of the current economic downfall and COVID-19 pandemic, defying all the odds. You are our legends and you deserve to be celebrated.
While we celebrate the life changing stories of incredible women making strides in their different spaces in the informal economy, we realise that it is not only in the informal economy where gender equality is still a deficiency but in almost all stratas of the environment including science, technology and politics.
With informal trading in Zimbabwe, mothers leave their homes as early as 3am to order vegetables and other goods for reselling, they get mugged or harassed in the wee hours of the morning as they rush to the markets, some with small children on their backs.
We sympathise with mothers who are Informal Cross Border Traders (ICBTs), who face the brunt of all forms of harassment by some unscrupulous border officials as a way of paying bribes, whilst trying to eke a living. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are now exposed to rape, robbery and even the risk of being devoured by wild animals whilst using unlawful entry points.
We are compassionate with mothers who are trying to fend for their children amidst the novel corona virus, which has led to the shutdown of borders and made it difficult for informal traders to operate.
We continue to be unfazed in advocating and stopping at nothing to achieve equal opportunities for both women and men and protection of women as they are vulnerable.
BVTA continues to champion women to stand up for their rights.
Issued by BVTA Information and Publicity Unit
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