COVID-19 measures such as lockdowns, instituted governments in sub-Saharan Africa have been helpful in controlling the spread of the virus. This has, however, triggered some negative economic impacts on women. ECID Community Reporter, Faris Davison, based in Dangamvura, Mutare in Zimbabwe tells the story of how COVID-19 lockdown measures has worsened the economic plight of commercial sex workers in Zimbabwe and the increased associated health among women.
Due to lockdown measures implemented by the government of Zimbabwe recently, most people were left out without any source of income. Sex workers were fairly affected since bars and nightclubs are closed.
During the first lockdown, these sex workers used to go to Penhalonga, Premier, and Odzi looking for clients. Now, these illegal mining areas have been sealed off by the government, and due to the prolonged rainy season, it is not possible for the illegal miners to operate.
The sex workers are now left completely with no clients. Some have resorted to inviting the few clients to their homes which is a very risky idea because they service clients in single rooms which they share with their little children.
The sex workers are not selective at all. Some of the clients brought in are very young boys as young as 15 years. It’s very disturbing because covid-19 cases are rising sharply each day and HIV will rise.