Female vendors endure sexual harassment

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

Zimbabwe’s female vendors are at the mercy of sexual harassment ,a vendor representative organisation has revealed

In its statement to commemorate  16 days of activism against gender based violence, Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET) said female vendors and informal traders are being exposed to sexual abuse as they ply their trade.

“Female vendors and informal traders have also borne the brunt of sexual harassment in their line of trade for the longest time and it is high time a line was drawn in the sand by the authorities.

 “It is common cause that, even at border posts, they are subjected to harsh treatment in order to induce sexual favours,”said VISET.

According to the Samuel Wadzayi-led organisation, it was prudent to enforce changes in the school curriculum as a way to dealing with GBV9(gender based violence) and also ensure that law enforcements are privy to gender issues.

“We at VISET believe that the changes in our schools curriculum, whilst progressive, fall short in helping the nation confront the fight against gender based violence, a fight which must  begin in the first level of socialisation. All law enforcement agencies must be sensitized on gender issues, with serious repercussions for those found in the wrong,”it cites.

“This fight must also have political will in order to succeed and we urge the highest office in the land, as well as the moral leaders of society as embodied by the churches to embrace this campaign,”VISET believes.

The organisation also took the opportunity to implore relevant stakeholders to up the scale against fighting HIV/AIDS as the world  commemorated World Aids Day yesterday.

“VISET as a representative body whose membership largely comprises women, takes the issues of gender based violence and the fight against HIV/Aids very seriously as they afflict many of our members.

“It is pertinent to also remember in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and other diseases that the world be reminded that, particularly here in sub Saharan Africa, the disease is still very much with us. To this end, we urge that more resources be channeled towards medications and the pursuit of vaccines,” it added.