THE Zimbabwe Government says it has put in place a cushioning fund to support vulnerable women across the country. This comes after MDC-T leader Thokozani Khupe, pleaded with the Women Affairs ministry in the national assembly to assist young girls who got pregnant during the lockdown.
“The Covid-19 pandemic rolled back the limited progress we had on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to the extent that during the lockdown, we experienced an increase in gender based violence and a sharp increase in teenage pregnancies.
‘‘What plans have you put in place particularly for the young girls who got pregnant during the lockdown so that they are given some form of assistance in order for them to be able to pick up the pieces and move on with their lives?’’ asked Khupe.
Responding to the question, Women Affairs Deputy Minister Jennifer Mhlanga said the ministry is working with women unions in supporting the vulnerable and abused women.
‘‘We promise that the fiscal support that we have been given by the Government will also target these young women.
‘’Over and above that we also have shelters that also take care of these young women such as Musasa and the Spotlight,’’ said Mhlanga.
She added that the ministry has rolled out shelters throughout the provinces and all the other districts.
Meanwhile the country is commemorating International Women’s Day, which this year is being celebrated under the theme ‘‘Women in leadership : Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world’’.