Housewives in ‘unfair, unpaid care work’ – Mutsvangwa

Minister calls for reframing of laws to recognise women toiling at home

By Caleb Chikwawawa

Women Affairs Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has lamented society’s continued failure to recognise being a housewife as a form of unpaid work adding there was need to reframe the country’s employment laws in a manner that mainstreams this form of “unfair” and “unpaid care work”.

She was presenting at the Feedback meeting on African Union 68th Pre-Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68) Consultative meeting in Harare on Monday.

“You ask a woman with eight children whether she is employed or not, and she tells you she is not and yet she is doing a lot of work at home.

“It’s all work and we are all at work whether at home or not.

“We need to continue looking into this issue of unpaid care work in the legal framework so that women can have more time to join clubs, go back to school and educate so that they can at the end access decent work,” she said.

“We need to strengthen women and girls’ capability to reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid care and domestic work and violence against women among others,” Mutsvangwa said.

She also highlighted the need to create equal access to land ownership for women.

“This deprivation can also be seen in women’s unequal access to land. We want the disaggregated data so that we can see how many Women benefited from land distribution.”

“Sure, because for it to be productive, a country cannot leave out 52 percent of the population behind,” said Mutsvangwa.

The top government official also called for reforms within the financial system in a manner that seeks to benefit women.

“We also need to contribute to reforming the financial architecture and financial processes to be gender sensitive and invest in women rights institutions and organisations,” she said.

“This needs to be done through strengthening and opening spaces for girls living in poverty to enable women to organise and demand accountability from state and non-state institutions operating within the jurisdiction of the respective states,” she said.

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