Where the COVID-19 pandemic has brought worldwide colossal economic and communal challenges, it has also affected a great number of girls, women, and families in the milieu of their social, geographic, and political contexts. Most of the countries of South Asia historically happen to be based on class/caste differences and structured hierarchical and gendered, with no or least importance for girls and women folks. Women therein are facing the covid-19 in its dreadful form because the current situation is creating more intimidations for them in many different ways.
The inept medical system in South Asia has furthered the plight adversely owing to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused issues and problems for women and girls in South Asia such as:
- Loss of employment
- Demises or disabilities of family’s providers
- Serious poverty
- The rise in females’ everyday workload
- Effect of mothers’ sickness/demise on kids
- Escalation of domestic violence
- The exploitation of female folks
As it is mentioned above that COVID-19 has transformed the daily lives of females and girls of South Asia in many ways. The pandemic has deteriorated the previously prevailed breaches to access of health facilities and basic education for young girls and women folks in the region. The corona fiasco has affected the inadequate workload of females’ house errands. The unemployment due to present chaos, fall in everyday wages, and extended stays of men in the homes have steered to an upsurge in mistreatment and savagery against the young girls and women in the region. Where the COVID-19 has commenced new battles and new inequities for women and girls, the pandemic has affected girls and women’s sexual and procreative well-being and their basic human rights as well. Although there are researchers who are addressing the effects of COVID-19 on sexuality, women are still experiencing domestic violence in their homes during lockdowns. In addition with such observation and statistics are being published and available online; see the research here.
The consecutive lockdowns and work from home have altered family subtleties in terms of mental and emotional effects. COVID-19 has not only affected native women and girls but in-land migrant girls and female workers, daily wage earners, and the sex workforce as well [see related article]. COVID-19 stuck women and girls in terms of emerging constraints on worldwide travel and termination of work-related visas.
What we as people and our governments ought to do in such a testing time; that the states and NGOs must introduce respite plans for female workers in the region. It is the time when the observable and concrete steps might have been taken to deliver clean drinking running water, hygienic facilities, and elimination of debris from inner-city slums.
There is also a dire need for teamwork among administrations and international organizations, and among mass activities and local societies with an emphasis on gender and womenfolk. Further, the elected political legislative bodies, women’s organizations, and non-profit organizations should redress COVID-19 linked gendered concerns with a clear focus. Social media should help to pinpoint the challenges faced by women. The religious leadership may educate the public about communal conducts amid the pandemic.
The educational organizations, medical colleges, formal universities and colleges, an academic world in general, and centers for Development Studies and Gender Studies should help to provide data to contain the spread of the disease. The working women in the medical sectors, at the legislative ranks, and in working the casual economy must address the sufferings of girls and women caused by COVID-19. Last but not least women who have been affected by the pandemic must be encouraged to bring up their personal narratives on mainstream media and social media.