Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall during the night of 14 to 15 March 2019 near Beira City in central Mozambique and continued across land as a tropical storm into the eastern part of Zimbabwe. The storm produced high winds and heavy precipitation in Zimbabwe, causing flash flooding resulting in the loss of life and injury of people, destruction of livelihoods, houses and extensive damage to infrastructure. Approximately 270,000 people have been affected and 299 deaths and 186 injuries have been reported. CARE Zimbabwe is responding in Masvingo and Manicaland provinces.
Drawing on pre-crisis information as well as primary data collection, CARE Zimbabwe conducted a Rapid Gender Analysis from 1-4 April 2019 to identify and make sectoral recommendations response on how to meet the different needs of women, men, boys and girls during and after the emergency. Field visits and focus group discussions were held in Chimanimani, Chipinge, Buhera and Mutare Rural Districts. Through these consultations, the team identified that women and girls are likely to be placed at particular risk due to their increased workload and caring responsibilities.
With the destruction of homes and crops, women have reported that they were overwhelmed with responsibilities, including rebuilding destroyed shelters, performing household chores, and searching for food.
In some areas, women were returning to family plots during the day to try to harvest what little agricultural produce that was not destroyed, leaving them with limited or no time to rest. In other interview, women reported, “when there is no food within the house, the men leave and women are left to deal with the hungry children.” As the primary responsible for food provision at household level, this not only places an extreme burden on women, but it is also a potential source for domestic violence, abuse, and exploitation. Inequalities at home also exposes women to particular risks of food insecurity, eating least and last when food becomes scarce.