Women have gathered in various types of groups all across the world and throughout history to provide each other support and work together to overcome obstacles. The solidarity that emerges from face-to-face engagement and shared problem-solving has been the foundation of these groups’ power. These inequities intensified the already significant gender disparities that existed prior to the pandemic. While women have made accomplishments in educational performance, economic and political engagement, and breaking through the barrier to lead countries, corporations, and international organizations in recent decades, much more has to be done to achieve gender equality.
COVID-19’s effects are intensified for women and girls merely because of their sex in every field, from health to the economy, welfare to social protection. COVID-19 is a test of our humanity as well as a challenge for global healthcare services. If all national measures are to have the desired effects, they must prioritize women and girls their engagement, involvement, rights, social and economic outcomes, equality, and security.
There are various groups of women who have been differently impacted by the falling economy across the nation. Women earn less, save less, have less secure jobs, and are more likely to work in the informal sector around the world. They represent the majority of single-parent homes and have fewer access to social protection and dignity. Women’s jobs have been disproportionately affected by reductions and job cuts as they take on more domestic responsibilities. An estimated 17 million women in the formal and informal sectors were jobless between March and April 2020 when government-imposed lockdown. Such consequences threaten already weak achievements in female labor market participation, restricting women’s ability to sustain them and their family, particularly in woman-headed families.
Women and girls found it more difficult to access treatment and health services as a result of pandemics. Multiple inequalities, such as religion, financial status, disability, age, race, geographic location, and sexual orientation, among others, restrict availability to important health services. Women’s access to health care was hampered by restrictive societal norms and gender stereotypes. Overburdening became a cause for physical illness and mental health difficulties as many women were forced to juggle work from home and family, and as the sole caretaker of the house, overburdening became a factor for physical illness and mental health issues. Housewives were compelled to care for patients in the home, which increased the risk of infection.
As the COVID-19 virus combines with economic and social factors, violence against women and girls is on the rise around the world. Substance addiction, poverty, and another issue a lack of access to services, and a reduction in family and social support are a few of the many factors which have added to the increase of violence against females.
The lack of help is worsening the situation. Along with the rise in numbers, violence against women is becoming more complex: COVID-19 vulnerability is used as blackmail; predators are taking advantage of women’s helplessness to call for help or leave, and women are at risk of being put out on the street with nowhere else to go. Domestic violence grew dramatically over the world with the installation of lockdown. Women were forced immobile by the lockdown, which prevented them from fleeing to safer areas in the event of assault or abuse.
Women’s privacy was eroded as men and women cohabitated for extended periods of time, and occurrences of violence increased. During the shutdown, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was not classified as a critical service. As a result, protection officers were unable to visit victims’ homes, NGOs were unable to have physical encounters with them, and police officers, who were at the forefront of our campaign to combat COVID-19, were overworked and unable to adequately assist victims.
COVID-19 has amplified pre-existing societal barriers and made it more difficult for women to obtain critical treatments. Access to proper food and nutrition is an issue, as are gaps in basic healthcare as supply networks for key medications and reproductive health services are were disrupted. The pandemic has had a long-term influence on mental health, as well as a rise in the number of severe gender inequality aspects such as domestic violence.
Women have historically been seen as the weaker members of society. Women were one of the parts of society who were denied basic facilities and security in 2019 when the entire world was afflicted by a global pandemic and every section of society was vulnerable in their own way. The number of cases of domestic abuse and harassment has risen dramatically. People harassed women activists who were actively engaged in obtaining medical aid for covid patients on the internet or by phone. Apart from that, many women have lost their employment and have suffered financial hardship. Although the situation in Covid has improved, women still have a long way to go before they achieve equality and access to basic services.
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