Main Article Content

Sinikiwe Gwatidzo
Bernard Chazovachii


Covid-19 has fast become a global catastrophic pandemic affecting all facets of life, including people’s livelihoods. Despite the devastating impact COVID-19 has caused across the globe, little has been researched on how lockdown intervention measures have affected livelihoods of entrepreneurial women. This study assesses how the conditions characterising the COVID-19 induced lockdown affected the livelihoods of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) entrepreneurial women in the Masvingo Province of Zimbabwe. The study reveals that COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe was (and continues to be) marred with enforced restrictions on women in the informal sector. Women in the urban areas were the most affected. The vulnerability context among urban women was characterised by shock, stress and restlessness. Based on findings of this study, we advance that COVID-19 induced lockdown paralysed entrepreneurial women’s capital assets thereby militating against their self-sustenance, self-reliance and advancement. The closure of markets, mobility permits, corruption on COVID-19 relief cash transfer and subsidised mealie-meal worsened the entrepreneurial women’s shocks, stresses and restlessness. We therefore conclude that the impact of COVID-19 has not only compromised nations’ food security and health systems, but most importantly paralysed entrepreneurial women’s livelihoods, yet women in the African context, musha mukadzi – without a mother there is no home.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

How to Cite
Gwatidzo, S. ., & Chazovachii, B. . (2020). COVID -19 AND THE PARALYSATION OF WOMEN LIVELIHOODS IN MICRO-ENTERPRISES IN MASVINGO URBAN, ZIMBABWE. American International Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, 2(4), 1–11.
Original Articles/Review Articles/Case Reports/Short Communications
Author Biographies

Sinikiwe Gwatidzo, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe

Registrar’s Department

Great Zimbabwe University, Box 1235 Masvingo, Zimbabwe

Bernard Chazovachii, Great Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe

Department of Rural and Urban Development

Great Zimbabwe University, Box 1235 Masvingo, Zimbabwe


Alston, M. (2015). Women and Climate Change in Bangladesh, London and New York: Routledge.

Aid, C. (2012). Thriving, resilient livelihoods: Christian Aid’s approach. Briefing, October.

Bradshaw, S., & Fordham, M. (2013). Women and girls in disasters.

Chingarande, D. (2020). Treasury yet to release COVID-19 funds, News Day, 13 April, 1-24.

Creswell, J.W & Creswell, W. (2013). Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five among five approaches. London, Sage publishers.

Droulet, J., Lena D., Alston, M., Ersing, R., Mathbor, G., & Wu,H. (2015). Women rebuilding lives post-disaster: innovative community practices for building resilience and promoting sustainable development, Gender & Development, 23(3), 433-448.

Gonye, J. (2016). Forms and motivations of plagiarism by first-year students at a university in Zimbabwe: implications for teaching communication skills. Dzimbahwe Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 1(2), 56- 72.

GoZ. (2020). COVID-19; what you need to know: The Standard 12-18 April 20.

IL. (2017). World Social Protection Report 2017–19: Universal social protection to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals International Labour Office – Geneva: ILO.

ICA Report. (2015). Ministerial statement on the state of co-operatives in Zimbabwe, VERITAS website.

Mudzviti, G., & Mawanza, W. (2014). An Analysis of the Root Causes of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Failure in Zimbabwe During the Period, Beitbridge, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe international, 3(5).

Neumayer, E., & Plümper, T. (2007). The gendered nature of natural disasters: the impact of catastrophic events on the gender gap in life expectancy, 1981–2002. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 97(3), 551-566.

Smyth, I., & Sweetman, C. (2015). Introduction: Gender and Resilience, Gender & Development, 23(3), 405-414.

Sohrabizadeh, S. (2016). The Neglect of Women’s Capacities in Disaster Management Systems in Iran: A Qualitative Study. Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 23(3) 467–480.

UN Women. (2016). Time to act on gender, climate change and disaster risk reduction. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

WHO. (2020). Timeline of WHO‘s response to the pandemic from 31 December 2019, WHO Press Conference, 17(2), 18-30.

Ziwira, E. (2020). Empowering women, small businesses through gender equality, Herald 15 April 2020, Harare, 16.