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Gendered Socio-economic Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural Zimbabwe

Emmanuel Ndhlovu () and Archiford Tembo ()
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Emmanuel Ndhlovu: Department of Development Studies, University of South Africa.
Archiford Tembo: Department of Social Work, University of Zimbabwe.

BizEcons Quarterly, 2020, vol. 12, 21-40

Abstract: Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that have, so far, been least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of recorded cases and fatalities. However, the country has not been exempted from the socio-economic consequences engendered by national lockdowns, and the restrictions on the movements of people and goods across the world. The consequences have been particularly heavy on the rural female (women, adolescents, and girls) who, in addition to their social reproduction and voluntary caregiver roles to children, the elderly, and the sick, are also responsible for a number of responsibilities including ensuring household food security through petty food production, purchase, and meal preparations. Using empirical evidence gathered from social work practitioners directly working with females across rural Zimbabwe and the gender and power theory, the article argues that COVID-19 responses including the national lockdown and social distancing in Zimbabwe have resulted in increased sexual and gender-based violence, sexual exploitation, early/forced marriages and pregnancies, increased sexual reproductive health risks, uneven information accessibility, and poor education outcomes, etc for rural females in Zimbabwe.

Keywords: COVID-19; gender-based violence; livelihoods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 E24 I14 I31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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