Brian Damba, community reporter from Mutare reports on the gender divides in farming and the impact of Covid-19.
A lady from my community reflects that in rural areas, during farming activities men and boys do the first job of land preparation and ploughing.
However, women and girls are included during sowing. During weeding time, it is everyone’s responsibility, but women and girls do the most. Also, during harvest time it is everyone’s responsibility.
There is a cry out from women and girls who argue that when they come from the fields, men get home and relax, and boys again will be waiting for food to be ready before they go with the cattle for grazing. But women and girls prepare food for the whole family.
After eating men will go for beers in the villages, boys will take the cattle for grazing, while women and girls will do the domestic duties like washing closes, bathing children, looking for firewood and other duties.
She says that this division of labour is not balanced because women do not have much time to rest.
Farming activities are also done in urban areas, where women do most of the field work including land preparation, sowing, and harvesting. However, men can only help during weekends or when they are free from work.
The 2020 season presented an opportunity for both men and women to do farming activities together simply because most men were not going to work because of the COVID-19 lockdown.