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Matabeleland South men take up women's domestic roles: Report

by Staff reporter
16 Apr 2021 at 07:44hrs | Views
MOST men in Matabeleland South have assumed the role of fetching water for domestic use, a task usually regarded as feminine, a recent research has established.

A Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC) report claims that in 80% of the households across the country, adult women were responsible for fetching water while men collect water in 15% of the households.

The report revealed that Matabeleland South adult men have broken traditional practices as it shows that the province has the highest proportion of households where men fetch water for domestic purposes.

Matabeleland South, the report claimed, has the highest proportion of households that travel a distance of over one kilometre to collect water.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights (MIHR) in a recent update, said while the role of fetching water for drinking and cooking purposes was generally viewed as feminine, Matabeleland South proved otherwise with most men involved in fetching domestic water.

"The Sphere Standards recommend that the maximum distance from any shelter to the nearest water point should be 500m," MIHR said.

"However, it is sad that nationally, 51% of Zimbabwe households travel over 500 metres to the nearest water point with 20% travelling more than one kilometre as stated by the ZimVac report."

MIHR added: "Matabeleland South also stands out at having the highest proportion of households travelling over 500m to the nearest water point, with 67% of the households travelling over 500m from their dwellings to the nearest water point."

Recently, MIHR expressed concerns over the long distances travelled by villagers in the rural areas to access clean water and called on the government to promote and protect water rights in the country.

MIHR co-ordinator Khumbulani Maphosa said there was need to protect and promote the right to water for all by calling on the government and the local authorities to end all forms of water poverty.

"We call on the responsible local authorities and the government through its various arms and agencies to value water by adopting a zero tolerance to water pollution," he said.

He said the scenario where rural communities travel distances above 500 metres, in some areas, up to 5km is untenable for women, children and people with disabilities.

"Furthermore, people are exposed to a lot of vulnerabilities as they travel the 5km and these vulnerabilities include human-wildlife conflict, rape, criminal activities, bullying and all forms of gender-based violence," he said.

Source - newsday

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