COVID-19: Women’s Rights Groups Demand Social Security Measures
Household burden broadened, economic uncertainty widened and self-care paused for a while, this is how the current shutdown is affecting women. And the situation has even worsened for the single women, widows, female-headed families, migrant workers and women in the informal sector, whose source of income has been paused. To tackle the situation, eight women’s rights groups, including All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) and All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) have urged the government to take proper social security measures for women and daily wage labourers.
- A nationwide lockdown of 21-days owing to the coronavirus outbreak was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24th.
- The most affected by the lockdown are single women, widows, female-headed families, migrant workers and women in the informal sector.
- These women also have less social and community support as compared to the other sections of society and belong to the most economically vulnerable sections.
- The women’s rights groups hence urged the government in a memorandum to take immediate social security measures for women and labourers.
Single Women And Widows Have Little Support
The lockdown is necessary, but it will have an impact on single women, widows, female-headed families, migrant workers, and women in the informal sector. A pause in the earnings for not so economically well strata of both women and other labourers is of serious concern. For this, eight women’s rights groups, including All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) and All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) have urged the government to take proper social security measures for women and daily wage labourers.
In the memorandum submitted to the government, the groups wrote, ” You are well aware that this section of society has little social and community support and belongs to the most economically vulnerable sections of society. Women from these sections are not protected by any social security laws. They are in very serious financial condition due to the unusual situation developed after the COVID-19 outbreak.”
Immediate Social Security And Other Measures To Tackle The Situation
The women’s rights groups have demanded a cash transfer of Rs 5,000 each to all the aforementioned sections of rural and urban women. Moreover, they also demanded paid leave and advance wages for daily wagers, informal sector workers and migrant labourers. The provision of doorstep delivery of free rations, vegetables, milk, drinking water, soaps, sanitizers to all vulnerable sections of society is also included in the memorandum. They also demanded advance transfer of pension to the eligible women.
The Centre announced on Friday evening, that it’ll be giving three months of pension in advance to the differently-abled, senior citizens, and widows. The Gujarat government, however, said that the migrant workers will be given food and shelter but won’t be allowed to travel to their villages during the lockdown period. If they try to escape, they’ll be bound to face police action.
The total number of coronavirus cases in India rose to 775 on 27th March with 20 deaths reported.