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There’s no denying the negative impact of COVID-19 and the government’s response to it. And while the elderly and people with underlying health conditions are the most vulnerable, women have been significantly impacted as well.
According to the World Economic Forum, the crisis has compromised women’s health and their rights. It has led to critical issues such as poor access to health services, rape, domestic violence, social inequality and discrimination. For this reason, it’s crucial to protect women now more than ever.
In this article, we’ll share with you what it takes to protect women during the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep on reading to learn more…
Upholding women’s fundamental rights
There are things fundamental to women’s rights: exercising freedom, access to healthcare, and equal opportunities. It appears, however, that the pandemic is challenging these human rights. For this reason, proper authorities, policymakers, and stakeholders must address the challenges of women during this pandemic.
Also, make sure to uphold women’s rights, whether in the workplace, community, or even at home. As a woman, make sure to voice out your struggles and seek help whenever necessary. In the end, you must exercise your fundamental rights.
Providing access to health services
It’s apparent how the pandemic has compromised access to health services worldwide. The focus is on treating patients with COVID-19 infection and saving lives. Along with this is to curb the spread of the various strains of the novel coronavirus. Lastly, the ultimate goal is to have mass vaccination for protection against the virus.
Unfortunately, the pandemic restrictions have affected women needing healthcare services. For instance, pregnant women needing regular prenatal checkups need to make the necessary adjustments. Also, those with underlying medical conditions have to rely on telehealth and home health care services. As such, authorities must strive to provide women with access to essential health services.
Fostering sexual and reproductive health
It’s crucial to discuss sexual and reproductive health during this pandemic. The crisis is impacting women across the globe in terms of having access to essential services. Some sexual and reproductive health issues have arisen amid the COVID-19 crisis.
For one, pregnant women struggle to obtain the necessary care they need. The reduction in services can lead to the rise of maternal and neonatal deaths. Two, limited access to contraception can lead to unwanted pregnancies. However, abortion care has become an issue in the pandemic. Women must have access to abortion clinics. Ultimately, authorities must foster sexual and reproductive health to protect women.
Addressing domestic violence and rape cases
Another crucial women’s issue in the pandemic is the rise of domestic violence and even rape cases. It’s no secret how the crisis has led to business closure and loss of jobs. These make people financially constrained, making them psychologically and mentally challenged.
Unfortunately, women become the victims of violence at home. Also, the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have forced women to live with their abusers. As a result, the pandemic has caused an increase in rape cases.
That said, women should know when to seek help and what to do. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides measures to address domestic and sexual violence. That said, make sure to follow these recommendations to protect yourself as a woman.
Ensuring social equality and stopping discrimination
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to social inequality in the workplace and community. It has even exacerbated the existing gap between men and women.
Another issue that has arisen is the discrimination against women. For instance, most women were quick to lose their jobs in the workplace at the onset of the pandemic. As such, the proper authorities must ensure social equality now more than ever. They must provide employers and businesses with guidelines in ensuring equality.
In addition, women should report any discrimination received in the workplace and the community. Once reported, make sure to hold violators and perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Protecting Women in the “New Normal”
There’s no denying the need to protect women amid this crisis.
Leaders and authorities must always uphold women’s rights, provide access to health services, and foster sexual and reproductive health. Also, they must address domestic and sexual violence and ensure social equality.
As a woman, you must know and exercise your rights. Most importantly, protect yourself and ask for help when needed. Amidst the crisis, you must stand strong, firm, and resilient!