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COVID-19: A Pandemic Adversity For Women

There has been an increase in the number of cases of gender-related violence and domestic violence, at an alarming rate.

It feels great responsibility and concern about women’s health in the times of corona pandemic crisis. When a significant part of the world went into complete lockdown, it showed to us that how this pandemic affects men and women differently. The discussions and debates about the corona crisis pandemic are either neutral or gender blind. We must not ignore the fact that there exists a relationship in the social and cultural realms with men in general and the other this pandemic has created to women.

When cities and well to do societies were enjoying lockdown, and the people went into quarantine, I came across many stories and issues related to women health on different platforms that where women are demanding not actually demanding but they are complaining about their mental status, mental health that is largely disturbed in this period.

There has been an increase in the number of cases of gender-related violence and domestic violence, at an alarming rate. This has made these times even more difficult for females. Data from different sources has revealed that women suffer immensely in these times. There has been a 60% rise in calls by women subjected to violence in Europe (WHO). According to the World Health Organization “domestic violence often increases in times of crisis, and is worsened due to restrictions and containment measures put in place to limit the spread of the new Coronavirus. The data provided in mid- April, by the National Commission of Women (NCW) in India, indicates the 100% increase in domestic violence during the lockdown”. Not only larger cases of domestic violence were reported but they are also cut off from the family support systems, there is a huge burden of household chores on them. Cases have increased exponentially across the globe. India, the United Kingdom and the United States hit the worst.

We must not forget to discuss the economic stress faced by the low-income group which occurred due to coronavirus pandemic. As a result of which this outbreak hits the women at large. During the economic crisis, they are underpaid or even did not get the pay for their work and this has worsened the economic insecurities and gender inequalities. Financial hardships, unemployment disturbs their mental health and due to which they are physically and sexually abused by their male counterparts. Harassment is going on behind the closed doors. The men in this pandemic crisis struggling hard to get tobacco and alcohol and they outraged their anger towards women.

These stories are not restricted to underprivileged and uneducated class only, but these issues related to women can also be generalized for much more so-called developed societies of the western world.

Along with hunger and poverty, another battle of underprivileged women is in access to menstrual hygiene products. Yet, another fear of Covid-19 is that it has an adverse impact on the reproductive health of women. Access to hospitals has become challenging. We are not unaware of the agony faced by the migrant labourers among them a significant number was of women migrant labourers. We must not ignore that women hygiene cannot be compromised during a pandemic. Women face hardships in access to sanitary napkins.

There are few recommendations and suggestions for women being at home to overcome their stress during the crisis. They must not isolate ourselves with so-called social distancing but they must maintain physical distancing. They should maintain physical distance, but should be emotionally connected and should reach out to friends, family through calls or video conferencing and stay connected. It is advised to take the conversations beyond COVID-19. The most important suggestion is to try and priorities self-care. This will have a positive impact on women health.

My heart aches to see multiple failures of the society which directly hits the poor. As it’s the need of the hour because Indians are living under extended lockdowns with some of the sectors starting their business, so it is our responsibility to support each other in times of crisis. As with masks, soaps and sanitizers, sanitary napkins must also be considered essential in these times of pandemic and there should be gender-based response to fight COVID 19.

A message to all women “Do not forget yourself, do not think that you are alone. This period is for a very short term. Be kind to yourself. We all are doing the best we can do at this moment.”

 

Zarmina Israr

Research Scholar 

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

 

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.

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The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!

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