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Women bearing brunt of COVID-19

The outbreak of COVID-19, a global pandemic, which has brought the entire world to a standstill,

COVID-19

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  30 May 2020 7:50 AM GMT

The outbreak of COVID-19, a global pandemic, which has brought the entire world to a standstill, is not merely a serious health concern for globe-trotting men. Rather it has triggered a disastrous socio-economic, psychological and physical crisis in the lives of the women. The necessity to remain indoors has rampantly increased the cases of domestic violence. The recent report of the National Commission of Women is a testimony to it. Most men have taken this imposition of lockdown phase as an opportunity to indulge themselves in binge watching warming the couches throughout the day and satiate their gluttonous temptations, which has increased the workload of women manifold. This has unleashed a colossal level of mental and physical torture to the women. Such adversarial times calls for love, support and cooperation from the males but absorbed in their false perception of supercilious over females and male ego they do not provide any helping hand to the females of the households. The closure of schools has added more responsibility of looking after the kids the whole day. The mothers have also to ensure whether their kids are taking the online lessons timely. The women in homes have also been taking extra care of the sexagenarians and above, as they are the ones who are the most vulnerable to the dreaded disease. Besides these, the women who are in jobs have to complete their online assignments and meetings in a time-bound manner. Those into teaching have to provide online classes regularly so that the academic schedule of the students does not suffer much. Even the health workers referred as corona warriors by the world today are mostly women in the primary and secondary healthcare. Though the Government has recently eased down the lockdown moving towards a graded exit to stimulate the economic growth, the urban working women still find themselves holed up inside the perimeters of the four walls as most of them are into service sector and this sector would take time to revamp as it has suffered the most due to the apocalypse. The mothers would need to look after their children till the school reopens, which will take time. This would lead to retrenchment and laying off of women employees. The government needs to take strict action against such establishments and also provide the women with unemployment allowances. The parents who are struggling to fulfill their basic daily needs would ask the girl child to drop out from the school. We may even witness a spike in the cases of girl trafficking as the predators would sense an opportunity to make some quick money. Here the Government needs to ensure that the girl child continues to study by giving directions to the schools and universities to not to ask for fees from the underprivileged and disadvantaged girls for a certain period of time. The authorities need to keep strict vigilance on any unscrupulous activities that may put the future of the girls in jeopardy. A dedicated team must be deployed in the vulnerable pockets of the country like the Northeast to curb such activities. The sight of migrant pregnant women and girl child walking miles desperately to reach their homes is excruciating painful. These women and girls go to roadsides and farms to answer nature's call which may cause danger to their safety. Men accompanying them need to be alert. The people who were surviving from hand to mouth existence and somehow managed the basic necessities of Roti, Kapda and Makaan before the pandemic would not be able to afford to other basic necessities like sanitary pads for the menstruating women and girls to maintain their health hygiene. The Government and NGOs need to allocate enough resources for arranging sanitary pads for the females. They can ask the health workers engaged in primary and secondary healthcare to distribute pads to the needy. The arrangement of the facilities of safe disposal of pads must also be done. The authorities must also allot separate wards for the women infected with COVID-19 with separate washrooms. Let us all work together towards providing a conducive atmosphere for females.

Saurav Goyal,

Guwahati.

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