Ishika Chaudhary, Tarishi Chaturvedi, IMPRI Team
The second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities to a great extent affecting every sector of life deeply. To understand the effect of COVID-19 on women, Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, organized a panel discussion on “Gendered Impact of the Catastrophic Second Wave of COVID-19 Pandemic: Way Forward towards Combating the Third Wave in India” on June 15, 2021.
Ms Poonam Kathuria, Director, SWATI – Society for Women’s Action and Training Initiatives, Ahmedabad, Gujarat highlighted that Gender based violence is a spectrum. There has to be a Mitigation approach in policy making amidst this unprecedented health calamity. There is a pattern regarding women’s issues and the onus is always on women to make them visible in the public domain. Only 1% of our GDP is allocated to health which is really low. She presented case studies to understand the ground reality.
There are widely spread vaccine myths in rural areas. Care giving of women is crucial as majority of them are responsible for caring even when they are ill.
In terms of reproductive health, there are unwanted pregnancies and more deaths. Women are losing jobs more than men due to additional family responsibilities. In rural areas, land is mainly registered in the name of males but due to the death of male in the family because of Coronavirus, women are facing problems related to inheritance of land. Thus, Land rights needs to be ensured.
Ms. Poonam Kathuria asserted that cash transfers need to be increased to Rs 2,000 for ASHA workers and Regularization of ASHA workers as they are the lifeline of this country. Targeted vaccination has to be there. Support services for women like creches and dabba services needs to be ensured.