In drought-hit Zimbabwe, women’s “second shift” burden grows

Zimbabwe is an agriculturally dependent economy which has been negatively impacted by droughts. Droughts have caused high levels of food insecurity. The article highlights that over 4.5 million people were left without an adequate amount of food in 2016. Culturally, in rural areas of Zimbabwe it is the role of women to provide the food for the families. Periods of food instability has increased the burden on women in Zimbabwe, as the time they spend doing paid work minimizes whilst the time spent doing unpaid work increases dramatically. The article further explores the time-burden of women living in drought affected areas. The author reports that women can often travel over 6 miles per day looking for food, water and firewood. There have been calls for men to help alleviate the growing burden of responsibility that these women bear. However, the author shows how more traditional men are opposed to helping women with collecting food and water as it is deemed as the women’s role.


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