Politics & General News

Silobela young wives turn to prostitution – as husbands go AWOL in Joza.

The migration of men out of Silobela has also posed challenges for most young mothers especially in Crossroads Silobela an area which is 60km northwest of Kwekwe
In an interview with most of the females whose husbands migrated out of the area, most of the migrants never returned or contacted their families.
This has led to an increase in poverty levels.
20-year-old Irene Sibanda a mother of two said,” my husband migrated to South Africa last year in March but has not contacted me since. Life has been hard as I am failing to send my two children to school and cater for their needs.”
” The only way to survive is to engage in relationships with gold panners because they are able to provide for my needs,” she said.
“However, I’m scared to negotiate for safer sex because I am scared that he might withdraw the financial assistance he has been giving me,” narrated Sibanda.
Most of the young women whose spouses migrated out of Crossroads were relying on transactional sex with artisanal miners as a means of militating household poverty.
Due to the financial crisis in the country which has seen prices of basic commodities worsening the food security of many families has been compromised resulting in women becoming victims of men’s privileged status.
In an interview, Sithembiso Khumalo a single mother who is also a shop attendant at Crossroads complex unveiled that she had no choice but to exchange sex for money to buy food.
” The money that I get as a shop attendant is not enough to cater for most of my needs my husband left me a year ago and he has not called me since. The only way to survive is to exchange sex with gold panners because they have money and can take care of us,” she says.
Field validation in Crossroads showed that most of the young women were engaging in transactional sex as a means of militating household poverty.
According to the Member of Parliament for Silobela Constituency Manoki Mpofu, most of the women who depend on artisanal miners for food assistance are no longer able to negotiate for safer sex.”
A field officer from Plan International a non governmental organization which operates in the area confirmed that there was a high rate of transactional sex in Silobela.
” It is worrisome, due to the drought most young women have turned to prostitution, but transactional sex still remains prominent in the area since 2019. Most of these women do not have any other source of income hence they have turned to transactional sex with artisanal miners,” she said.
Transactional sex has not only been shaped by economic transformations in Sub Saharan Africa but also by gender inequalities prompted by cultural practices.
Cultural practises in African sociaties have left women to be at the mercy of men who in most instances uphold dominance in their communities.
In a bid to provide shelter and food for their families women have become victims of cultural injustice in their communities.
As result of desperation women tend to rely on men who are economically priviledged for survival.
According to the latest 2017 report by the National AIDS Council (NAC) due to the economic dependence of women on men , women tend to believe that they do not have the right to ask their partner to use a condom.
Due to fear, women are at a biological risk of contracting HIV and sexual related diseases.
The 2017 report by NAC shows that 1,33million people in Zimbabwe were living with HIV while 738,400 are women.

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