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Informal-trader come sex-worker, reality of Zim-women during COVID-19 era

By Staff Reporter

The COVID-19 pandemic through the current lockdown period has become a cause for concern for the plight of many women in the country.

A survey recently conducted by Spotlight Online News Africa shows that poverty ridden women and young girls in urban areas are now into sex work.Poverty orchestrated by the closure of unregularized business activities, mainly in the Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) sector.

In an interview Nyasha a 40year old woman Dzivarasekwa based woman and mother of two(2) operating at Highfield’s Machipisa said she only joined sex work out of desperate situation during the first 21 days of the Lockdown Period.

“I became a sex worker during the first 21 days of the Lockdown period when I broke up with my husband.”

Nyasha confided that she was doing well before Lockdown Period as a hairdresser at a renowned Saloon in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD). An abrupt end of informal trade activities left her plight and that of her children in a predicament.

“I have a certificate in hairdressing, used to work for a Saloon in the CBD. But when the government issued a lockdown poverty became a story of the day in my life and two Children,” she said.

This news crew also observed that the majority of sex workers are currently defying lockdown measures, the likes of social distancing, wearing face masks during course of activities. At times risks being caught by the police and sometimes would resort to bribe them.

Melinda, a 38 year old said before becoming a sex worker she was into informal trading at Machipisa Complex where she used to run a vending stall. Says the current economic hardships during COVID-19 forces her and many young girls to join the disputed trade.

“I had a vending stall at Machipisa Shopping Center but due to the current COVID-19 situation I no longer sustain myself. I resorted to become sex work so that I can survive. It’s not me alone young girls and many women are joining this work everyday.”

Tendai Guvamombe