The outbreak of coronavirus has indisputably affected all spheres of mankind. It’s a state of turmoil for every individual however, there is one aspect of this invisible virus that we aren’t pondering over.
While the world is trying to cope up with new ways to deal with this virus the situation of women in many countries has exacerbated during this period. As per the United Nations report not only the cases of domestic violence have augmented amidst the pandemic but crimes against women have also escalated. It is certainly worrisome how women even during these tough times are being tormented and are being compelled to fight their battles.
Women and domestic violence
VAWG, violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights and a global issue. Though violence might be physical it is something that affects a woman mentally and can cause emotional distress/trauma for life. The cases of domestic violence worldwide during the lockdown have seen a sudden hike. The reason for this hike as stipulated by many is because of financial and health issues which have eventually caused strain and tensions among people. It is pertinent to mention how in many countries fewer calls of help were reported after the initial weeks of lockdown not because violence was not taking place anymore but because women found it difficult to seek help during this period. It is truly unfortunate how many women despite having a recourse aren't able to successfully gain access to it.
Women and lack of feminine hygiene products
The hoarding down of all the essentials by the well-off people might create a problem for lots of women. In India, to ensure that women belonging to the poor strata of the society have access to sanitary napkins the government took the initiative of distributing the pads in schools itself. But with everything closed down women and girls are now struggling to get their hands on such necessities. A lot of women are facing the same issue around the world where they aren’t able to get these basic products either because of shortage or because of the lack of resources at their disposal.
Women/child online abuse
Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, many countries were forced to go into a state of lockdown. This lockdown was abrupt and thus people had to find alternatives to stay in touch with their loved ones or just to simply attend college/school/work. This consequently led to an increased usage of online platforms. According to Europol, many people are using it as an opportunity to harass children. The lockdown has raised the risk of online child abuse and also subjected women to online harassment i.e. stalking, voyeurism, sex-trolling, bullying, etc. This includes incidents where women are cyber-flashed when they login to a social event on the internet.
Women and exposure to emotional trauma and stress
It is a stressful time for all of us and thus we should do everything to help each other out. A large number of people are dealing with financial, health, and security issues but there is one person who we are yet to think of; female members of our house. Even during such tough times, a lot of women are single-handedly dealing with all the house chores. One might assume that household chores are menial jobs that a person can easily do. However, on closer contemplation you might realize that it is unfair for the women of the house to do everything on their own with little or no help from their male companion.
What can we do at an individual level?
- Spread awareness on social media
- Donate as per your capacity
- Help and ask the male members of your household to help
- Eliminate toxic masculinity by informing people
- Inform people of their rights
- Report online bullies
- Take a stand where you can
- Discuss things with your friends and family
It is time for us to keep our ego aside and work towards a better and safer future not only for women but for every individual. It's our well-deserved human right to live a life with dignity.
Be the change you want to see - Mahatma Gandhi
"Very well written. It was very informative and an eye opening piece."