Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Feminism How does the pandemic threaten the championing of feminist causes?

6 replies, 6 voices Last updated by Semantee Chattopadhyay 2 years, 3 months ago
  • Woospire
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    Yash Tiwari
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    @yash
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    The global pandemic is not over. It will not be over for many years, and there is still more work to do before we have genuinely comprehensive and equitable health coverage for all people. The pandemic will force a re-evaluation of many existing socio-cultural barriers because these vulnerabilities are exacerbated by biological transmission. For example, traditional gender-based roles (males as breadwinners and females as caregivers) may be reversed when men are less likely than women to leave their homes because of fear for their safety. Another example is the rise in female economic activity in developing economies as travel restrictions are imposed. Through gender and social roles, men and boys have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. But they are not its primary cause and the pandemic does not make an exception as it affects them. Until we have a vaccine for meningitis – until we make meningitis a treatable condition for all – there can be no safe space in which to talk about this issue.

    The violence of the pandemic and its resulting trauma, isolation, and intense psychological suffering potentially weaken women’s organizations and their initiatives by creating a climate of fear, grief, chronic illness, disability, and death. As we risk losing former allies and colleagues — people who have fought long and hard for equal rights — it is our responsibility to ensure that their activism does not go to waste. We must make sure that the issues they championed do not go unaddressed or ignored. A woman who is faced with an abusive partner will often need to rely on her resources and the community to find a safe place away from that partner. Yet fears about exposure to the virus, combined with new restrictions on freedom of movement, are likely to create additional hurdles that increase the risk for some women and their children.

    I think it’s safe to agree that the pandemic is discriminatory against women and girls – that in fact, it has arisen from deeply rooted patriarchal institutions. In this country and much of the world, we have done an abysmal job of providing opportunities for all people, men and women alike. But it doesn’t follow that we should therefore see the current outbreak as a predictable backlash to the progress of feminism. But we can’t afford to stand on the sidelines while the world slips into chaos. We can’t afford to watch life expectantly, hoping that everything turns out okay. We need to do what we can to make sure that things turn out okay. And in this sense, the pandemic is an opportunity for feminism.

    nehachitroda
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    @nehachitroda
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    Pandemic has affected each individual in some of the other ways, and it doesn’t mean if they haven’t lost their jobs, they are stable because in this pandemic, each field had a crisis and everyone is still facing it and trying to recover from this.
    Women and their issues are still continuing be it was during normal days when everything was stable or now in this pandemic, women are working and managing home and have now mastered every situation. But feminism and the initiate taken by them can be neglected because of pandemics and somewhere these issues are side-lined and not considered.
    It’s somewhere a threat to feminism issues because now restrictions have increased in moving out, traveling, or taking up any work which was taken up by women but now because of a pandemic it has affected.
    All the work done by women is unnoticed sometimes and taken for granted, till now many have taken up initiatives to make aware of feminist issues but now the situations and thoughts have changed after the pandemic but we should not make their efforts go waste and take steps to understand the scenario.

    Mayuravarshini Mohana
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    @mayura
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    The pandemic has certainly toppled our lifestyle and derailed human life and perspectives. A lot of us have lost jobs, family members, access to resources and education. The world as we know it has come into question. The pandemic has also become an opportunity for ‘disaster patriarchy’, something that has got feminist really worried.

    Disaster patriarchy is parallel to Naomi Klein’s ‘disaster capitalism’ which points out to the exploitation of disasters to serve pro-corporate profitable ends which would otherwise have been difficult to implement under normal conditions. Disaster patriarchy is the opportunistic use of a crisis, the pandemic in this case, to reinforce patriarchal norms and male dominance. It signals the reversal of feminist progress made in the due course of 100 years.

    V (formerly Eve Ensler), in her famous essay “Disaster patriarchy: how the pandemic has unleashed a war on women”, identifies the resurgence of four common feminist issues across the globe over the course of the pandemic- violence against women, loss of economic power, curbed education and a loss of autonomy.

    Many countries witnessed a 15-30% increase in the influx of distress calls from women in 2020. In India, within a fortnight of implementing the first nationwide lockdown, the National Commission for Women reported a 100% rise in domestic violence complaints. The sudden economic insecurity, isolation, loss of jobs and psychological stress in families has contributed to the surge in violence against women. The several lockdowns encumbered reporting which in turn affected timely aid to women in distress. The functioning of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was not recognized as an essential service during lockdown and hence a number of NGOs remained curbed. Governments have been widely criticised for not anticipating the rise in harassment and building relief systems for women. The problem still persists. Homes have turned into torture chambers and women continue to be victimised.

    On par with that of violence is the effect of sudden economic deprivation. An Oxfam India report found that 17 million women had been laid off in April 2020. This increased the pre-pandemic unemployment rate among women (18%) by 15%. The existing gender pay gap meant fewer savings for women, which translated to a more malignant financial crisis after job loss. As women are largely employed in informal work set ups, it is feared that a greater number of the population will be pushed to severe poverty.

    Pre-pandemic India saw a promising rise in female literacy rates. As such, the switch to digital classroom has left a significant section of the population behind. With the pandemic augmenting penury, more girls are likely to be forced into informal labour or child marriage and discontinue their education. With schools shutting down, the factors which encouraged girl child enrolment, such as the mid-day meal schemes have been rendered invalid. Poor families no longer have reasons to send their daughters to school. The curbing of education hampers social progress, and poverty will become a lifelong burden for such families.

    Any disaster finds women the worst affected, be it water scarcity, poor sanitation, war or a pandemic. Feminist movements, right from the first wave which sought suffrage for women, have travelled an arduous course towards gender parity such as reproductive rights, equal pay and access to education. The most significant among them are the numerous discussions that have spurred against patriarchy. That the pandemic has reversed a lot of feminist achievements is a bitter pill to swallow. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity to recalibrate and work towards formulating more durable systems of gender justice.

    Tanima
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    As everyone of us know that this covid pandemic has affected China to India vastly. In our daily news channel it subsided each and every issues and make his huge projection on human race. Whether it’s political or economical, it’s not being telecasted properly. Our government is spending their full-time effort to control this pandemic, maintaining lockdown. In such a situation, issues like feminism or women empowerment , which are usually considered as secondary issues of our society, are getting out of people’s lives. Our society doesn’t even value it much in normal days, then in pandemic!
    Winning against patriarchy, didn’t only postponed, but, women violence already started to increase it’s intensity as 2019 reported as the year having most domestic violence reported.
    Among this lockdown, many people are losing their jobs. Women who were empowered by their own income, lost jobs too. Thus they are getting dependent again on husband . For non-working women, duties for household chores, looking after children are growing as school and office got closed. As a result, women are getting accused, whether it’s a fault from children or in household chores. Men, who were not accustomed to stay at home are restricted to go outside. There’s come mental irritation and this irritation give birth to domestic violence. The National Commission for Women (NSW) has recorded an increase of at least 2.5 times in domestic violence crimes after the nationwide lockdown, has enlisted approx 1477 new cases between March 25 and May 31.
    Amid lockdown, not even every female got a chance to report or couldn’t show enough courage to filing a FIR. There’s even some cases where female got murdered, caused by sexual violence.
    Sexual harassment , got an increase of approx 21%, from the last year’s.
    Again if we see with a look at future, many NGO s who were arranging awareness program among women in the rural areas about health or family planning or how to confront violence, had to stop their works due to lockdown. Education is getting the most harmful effects due to closing of school and colleges. So the most important pillars of women empowerment are facing the worst issues, which can cause a devastating effect on the feminism journey now and even in future. Child marriage and women exploitation will be definite.
    So, in this already devastating situation, we should never subside the female issues. Writing, blogging, publish them on social media is a great initiative. With these every men and women are advised to help your neighbour who is suffering from any kind of violence in her house. Restarting of feminism movement should be as soon as possible.

    Manpreet Singh
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    @manpreet
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    As governments all throughout the year start to carry out COVID-19 lockdown, the world is gradually becoming used to the new reality under the pandemic. Everybody is in danger, yet the individuals who are minimized are ladies and young girls. It is now proven with the reports from around the world that women face significantly more noteworthy difficulties. It is being reported that women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner and it has increased violently during the pandemic. Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation. Since the episode of COVID-19, arising information and reports from those on the forefronts, have shown that a wide range of savagery against ladies and young ladies, especially abusive behavior at home, has escalated.
    This is the Pandemic developing in the midst of the COVID-19 emergency and we need a worldwide aggregate exertion to stop it. As COVID-19 cases keep on stressing wellbeing administrations, fundamental administrations, for example, abusive behavior at home, safe houses, and helplines have reached their limit. All the more should be done to focus on tending to brutality against ladies in COVID-19 reaction and recuperation endeavors. Even the survivors have limited information and awareness about available services and limited access to support services. As responders, wellbeing experts, local area volunteers, transport and coordinations directors, researchers, and then some, ladies are making basic commitments to address the pandemic consistently. We must look that their rights are preserved.
    As the whole political focus has shifted in the pandemic itself, the cause of feminism has somewhat left in the shadow. Forget about bringing about gender equality, we are not even being able to look after the basic needs of our women. Therefore, the need of the hour is that we must look that at least the discrimination that is being mated towards frontline workers should be stopped and some solution should be made for domestic violence problem.

    Semantee Chattopadhyay
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    @semantee03
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    Last year and even this year has been tough on everyone. The pandemic has seen a surge in covid-19 cases. Covid-19 crisis has been a nightmare in gender equality. Every single person has to try to keep things running. The lockdown does affect people unequally. With schools, daycares, homecare falling away those with caring tasks suddenly have to do two jobs. But the day still has only 24 hours. This influences our productivity. This influences our mental and physical health. In inturn influences the health of the people we care for. Care work also affects people unequally. We know that women perform the majority of all care and household chores even in partnerships where the women are the sole breadwinner. And if you think that is tough, think about single parents. They have to perform all tasks, all the time. If female productivity declines somite career opportunities. We hear that the female authors have fewer journal submissions, whereas male ones stay stable and even increase. Colleagues have reported research has been unthinkable in the past months. If you are taking parents who can not be productive they might not have a shot at that promotion. They might not prefer the tenure criteria they discuss with the manager, they might not get that permanent contract and might not stay in academia.
    Women have maternal and reproductive responsibilities. They might not get this access to this in times of covid crisis. Crisis in the past has shown that girls may never return to school after a certain break. School closures and economic necessity can lead two children to drop out of school. It has been seen that boys returned to school faster were as many girls don’t because of labour or caregiving responsibilities. There is the advent of the online education system but that also imposes a problem. In some countries, there is a digital gender divide and women don’t have access to the internet.

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