Zimbabwean men have been urged to help women in unpaid care work and domestic work to help lessen the energy women spend on domestic chores which holds them back in their paid jobs and careers.
Former chairperson of Anti-Domestic Violence Council in Zimbabwe, Eunice Njovane, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the increase of unpaid care work that women have to do since most people are working from home.
She was speaking in a recent zoom meeting organised by Southern Africa HIV and Aids Information Dissemination Service (SAfAids). Njovane said:
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The COVID-19 pandemic reflected that we have a challenge of women being burdened by care work. It has escalated the work of girls and women in the home space.
Because we spend most of our time home together, there is more cleaning, more of fetching water and more of caring for the sick done by women.
She urged men to assist with household chores so as to relieve women of some of the work. She added:
It’s important that men be sensitive in terms of the division of unpaid care work and take part in some of the work.
For married couples, it’s important to complement each other and not to compete or overburden each other.
Sharing care work is part of mutual respect and helps couples to live in harmony together.
A representative of the World Council of Churches in Southern Africa, Professor Ezra Chitando, said some men had taken religion and culture to justify their absence from unpaid care work.
Chitando called on churches to promote gender equality in care work so that more boys and men get involved in unpaid care work.
The executive director of Sivio Institute, Tendai Murisa also urged men to embrace household chores.
Murisa said whenever men do duties in the house like washing dishes, they should not assume that they were doing women a favour.