Mrs Sekai Holland at the Mbare Women's Covered Market, Harare, February 2, 2022. The Boy Child Project Eco Tourism Team introduced the ZimPI Network Team to this part of an Association of Women's Clubs Movement project.
Established in 1962 by the City Council, the Women's Covered Market was created only for women who had a marriage certificate. The objective was to empower these women to contribute to the family income from their proceeds, as well as to enable married women to look after themselves and their families, in marriage and in widowhood, should that arise. With the passing of generations, it is no longer exclusively for married women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, market stall holders have suffered greatly.
Over the decades, successive government bureaucrats and and others have benefited from engagement with the Covered Market Women Traders. When representatives of government, NGOs, business and others attend international gatherings, all converge at the Covered Market to gain factual data from the women, their sons and daughters on a wide range of topics, recipes, and many aspects of the life of the Zimbabwean in traditional settings, and to buy local traditional foods and medicines. None ever return to thank the women, nor brought back reports or benefit for the data provided.
The Mbare Women's Covered Market Committee want to connect with reliable Women’s organisations for partnerships, to transform the Covered Market in its historical context, working together. The Women's Covered Markets need major refurbishment, better ablution facilities and structured connection to international tourism.