Domestic violence is on the rise during the lockdown, there are chance that jobs will be lost after we have dealt with the health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and most layoffs will take place in the informal sector. Though the coronavirus is killing more men than women, in several other aspects it is affecting women more. Considering the gravity of this situation, Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, urged the governments across the world to put women's and girls' rights in the center of their efforts to recover from COVID-19.
- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the governments across the world to put women's and girls' rights in the center of their efforts to recover from COVID-19.
- The coronavirus crisis has hit the world at a time which marks the 25th anniversary of the landmark Beijing Platform for Action on women’s rights and gender equality.
- Though the virus is killing more men than women, it is having extremely adverse consequences for women in every other sphere - from health to economy and security and social protection.
Women At The Forefront Of Being Affected By The Crisis
“Nearly 60 percent of women around the world work in the informal economy, earning less, saving less, and at greater risk of falling into poverty. As markets fall and businesses close, millions of women’s jobs have disappeared. At the same time as they are losing paid employment, women’s unpaid care work has increased exponentially as a result of school closures and the increased needs of older people. These currents are combining as never before to defeat women’s rights and deny women’s opportunities," Antonio Guterres said in a video released by the United Nations.
"Forced lockdowns and movement restrictions also mean that women suffering gender-based violence are now trapped at home with their abusers at a time when support services are disrupted or inaccessible," he added.
Gender Equality Is Essential To Getting Through This Crisis
The Secretary-General urged all the governments across the world to consider and include women's and girls' rights in their policies. This can be done by involving women in the decision-making hierarchy.
“Gender equality and women’s rights are essential to getting through this pandemic together, to recovering faster, and to building a better future for everyone. Measures to protect and stimulate the economy, from cash transfers to credits and loans, must be targeted at women. Unpaid care work must be recognized and valued as a vital contribution to the economy," he said, adding the fact that more than ever, there needs to zero tolerance for domestic violence today.
He stressed on why it is important to build back better for everyone. Further stressing on why women and girls need to be included in both policy and decision making, he said, “Nearly 70 percent of frontline health and social workers are women. Women also shoulder a disproportionate share of unpaid care work and they are critical actors in the sustainable development of all countries. We must therefore, ensure women are included in all response and recovery decisions. This is the only way to ‘build back better’ for everyone”.