Informal Economy Women’s Hub (INEWOH) Calls for Genuine Financial Inclusion

The Informal Economy Women’s Hub (INEWOH) notes recent press reports pertaining to funding for women’s projects. The report quotes a member of a political party chastising their party members for not applying for loans with the Zimbabwe Women’s Bank (ZWB) in Zvimba District of Mashonaland West.

The most worrisome aspect of this report is that the utterances were made at a political gathering. Many initiatives in Zimbabwe have often failed owing to political interference, and we as an organisation fear that the ZWB facility will collapse owing to undue political interference and non-performing loans. Zimbabweans still have fresh memories of the collapse of many financial institutions owing to the same reasons and would not want the same fate to befall an institution whose founding principle was to ensure the financial inclusion of women at concessionary rates.



Women make up over 65 percent of the workforce in the informal economy but are far outstripped by their male counterparts when it comes to earnings. In our everyday interactions countrywide as the Informal Economy Women’s Hub, a number of women have expressed the desire to want to be their own employers and grow their business endeavours but face challenges in raising capital, more so in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic where they did not receive any form of social protection.

 

We appeal for all women to be given equal treatment when adjudication of such facilities is availed, given the fact that this is taxpayers money, and it is the least that the government can do in the absence of social safety nets. As the Informal Economy Women’s Hub, we will continue build the capacities of our members to demand transparency and accountability in informal economy governance at all levels

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