Women’s Bank Is Giving Us Stress: Midlands Women

Women in the Midlands province have ripped into the recently launched Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank for demanding stringent conditions which they said is giving women more strain than hope.

Speaking after a Women’s Coalition in Zimbabwe (WCoZ) Think Tank meeting held in Gweru recently, women leaders in attendance said the bank was just a window dressing and doing nothing for women’s empowerment.

WCoZ Midlands Chapter Vice Chairperson Ms Florence Guzha said the demands required by the bank, especially the 4 percent monthly interest, were not feasible.

“This bank actually came out in an endeavour to empower women economically but the conditions that this bank is demanding is not empowerment in any way.

“It actually stresses women more because right now they are demanding 4 percent interest per month which is, with the current economic situation, unaffordable an impractical,” Guzha said.

“We really looked forward for this bank to put women in a better economical position but it is stressing us instead,” she added.

Guzha said none of the Midlands women had benefitted due to the stringent requirements.

She called for engagements with government and political parties to align their policies and manifestos with the constitution.

Women in Communities (WICo) Director in the Midlands Mrs Rebecca Chirenga reiterated Guzha’s sentiments adding that the bank is not serving its intended purpose.

WiCo is a women’s organisation focusing on women’s health and women and the environment.

Meanwhile Quadriplegic and Paraplegic Association in Zimbabwe’s National Secretary, Audrey Rusike said women living with disability in Zimbabwe were in between a hard surface and a rock as they were a disadvantaged group from the already disadvantaged as women.

“As women with disability we are the worst hit by these economic, political, education and social environment.

“Most facilities that people gather at are not user friendly to those living with disabilities.

Rusike added that assistive devices that they used to get from government stopped 20 years ago which has left most of them vulnerable.