It has been a year since the world was drastically challenged by a virus no one awaited in their sincerest dreams. Since the time Covid-19 was detected in Wuhan, China, to date, it has affected millions of people worldwide. The after-effects scare most nations already, given the huge loss of power, people and finance that the governments need to now remunerate for.
Out of these millions of people devastatingly affected by the virus stand women. It would not be an over-exaggeration to state that women have been affected to life and death for the past year. The credits of the same are received not only by the virus but the way global citizens have been reacting to the virus. The pandemic and the lockdowns imposed for the same have resulted in many women suffering from intense issues like domestic violence, pregnancy issues, abortion complexities and financial baggage, of course.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has changed the social, economic and personal realities of many. With the nearly universal imposition of the stay-at-home requirement in March 2020, the widespread uptake of social distancing has led to growing economic and social insecurities. As we speak of millions affected by the pandemic, anecdotal reports and press accounts illustrate the impact of the pandemic on Women’s SRH and well-being. Millions of women and girls globally have lost access to contraceptives and abortion means and services.
In the course of the pandemic, women worldwide have been dealing with more than the given injustice that involves the following-
- Severe domestic violence cases have been reported lately in the past year, and the innumerable ones that went unreported.
- Financial crisis for women leading them to lose their jobs, making them dependent and bound.
- Many women have been facing pregnancy issues since the initiation of the pandemic as
- Pregnant women were bound to be targeted by the virus easier than anyone else.
- Lack of medical care
- Limitations on outdoor pregnancy requirements
- Millions of women losing access to contraceptive abortions in COVID-19
Several women now face second-trimester pregnancies due to the unavailability of the required care. Across 37 countries, nearly 2 million fewer women received services between January and June in 2020 than in the same period in 2019.
The U.N Population Fund last year warned up to 7 million unintended pregnancies worldwide in 2021. The lockdowns imposed internationally, specifically in countries in Asia, Africa and others are considered to be the key causes of the disrupting figures. Travel restrictions, supply chain disruptions, the massive shift of health resources to combat COVID-19 and the increasing fear of infection has blocked a systematic care service for pregnant women.
Some countries refused to deem sexual and reproductive health services as essential under the lockdown. India, even though seemed to have listed abortions as essential services, many services were not accurately delivered and the reach was low. Abortion pill shortages were recorded in several states surveyed by the foundation for reproductive health services in India.
Irrespective of the nations and global conditions, women have been facing somewhat similar issues for the past years. However, the pandemic has taken the issues of these unattended women to an extreme level. The governments and international organizations now need to take a step ahead and set the pace towards rendering help to these women.