Tawanda Bote recently in CHIKOMBA
WOMEN in rural areas have bemoaned the lack of access to bank credit loans for capital to start their businesses.
Studies have revealed that only six percent of women-owned businesses in Zimbabwe have been formalised enough to meet bank requirements for cash flow projections.
Banks often require collateral of properties, which most women, especially those in rural areas, do not have.
These concerns were expressed by rural women, who attended a financial literacy workshop in Chikomba, recently. The workshop was organised by a local Non-Governmental Organisation called ROSA CARE, in collaboration with Young Women Christian Association Zimbabwe.
Programmes director of ROSA CARE, Joseph Mazenge, said patriarchy has historically led to the exclusion of women from development projects but it was high time they were capacitated.
“After having carried out our needs assessment, we realised there is one grey area in women’s empowerment, which is a result of our patriarchal society that left women out of many community development projects.
“So, we are here to train women at grassroots level about managing finances, so that they can be able to start their own income-generating projects,” he said.
Some of the women, who participated in the workshop, complained about the tough requirements for securing loans at banks.
“We wish that our banks would have requirements, for borrowing money, which are more lenient for us rural women.
“Sometimes, they ask us for collateral of properties but most of us do not own any properties.
“That continues to be a hindrance in our empowerment,” said Mercy Chikadaya.
Another woman said more assistance should be given to women if they are to become empowered.
“For us women, in rural areas, we pray that the Government assists us to be able to buy land or start projects to help us look after our families,” said Esther Weshure.
The women were also taught the values of saving and budgeting in the homes.