The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating effects across the globe, but the data and evidence show that women have borne the brunt of the crisis. While inequalities in health, economic power, and other areas existed long before the pandemic began, the pandemic has widened these gaps.
Thirty-six-year-old Thandiwe Mtshali* watched helplessly as her informal cross-border trading (ICBT) enterprise came to a grinding halt when the Zimbabwean authorities closed the border with South Africa as part of global efforts to stem the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus.
Mental health and treating mental health conditions involves not only treating an individual’s ability to manage their thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and interactions with others, but also ensuring that the social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental conditions are in place through effective national policies, social protections, adequate living standards, working conditions, community social support, and a tiered system of care through a robust network of health services. In Bangladesh, the Mental Health Act 2018 and the National Mental Health Policy 2021 were developed with the above in mind.
Mental health is a state of well-being when both your body and your mind are in balance, and you are able to deal with the difficulties and challenges that come your way and easily find joy, peace, and happiness once the challenge is overcome. For many people though, the challenges often remain for too long - the pain of losing someone you dearly loved, being diagnosed with a chronic disease like cancer or a heart condition, losing your family/home/job or feeling like you failed to meet expectations. All those things and more can trigger so much intense stress and maladjustment, that if it goes unchecked and untreated, it may lead to a chronic disease, a mental health disorder. WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. The majority of people are able to cope and get back to life as normal, but for the many who cannot, they begin to experience intense detachment from reality (experiencing delusions, pervasive sadness, uncontrollable fears, intense anger and/or fantasies and hallucinations). For those individuals, there is limited help and treatment in every country in the world. Those who suffer from mental health disorders and the brave professionals who learn to treat them are chronically stigmatized, under-appreciated and under-paid.
The mauling, groping and tossing of a young woman by a crowd of between 300 and 400 men in a park in the eastern city of Lahore, in the Punjab province, may have caused a wave of country-wide disgust, but speaks volumes of how unsafe public spaces are for Pakistani women.
The theme of this year’s annual International Day of the Girl Child
, on October 11, “Digital generation. Our generation.”, recognizes the digital transformation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. But while the pandemic accelerated the transition to online learning, working and networking, it also accelerated women and girl's risk of being left behind.
Telemedicine and health-related information have experienced a massive uptake since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. While online health services are seen as a panacea for many ills, disinformation and fake news reports have tarnished their credibility.
Gender-responsive universal health coverage (UHC) has the proven potential to transform the health and lives of billions of people, particularly girls and women, in all their intersecting identities. At tomorrow’s kick-off
to the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on UHC, Member States and stakeholders will review progress made on the 2019 HLM’s commitments and set a roadmap to achieve UHC by 2030. We, as the co-convening organizations of the Alliance for Gender Equality and UHC
, call on Member States to safeguard gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as part of UHC implementation, especially in light of the gendered impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A strong movement of feminism is sweeping South Korea. While women feel empowered to stand their ground, the men are retaliating.
When South Korean archer An San won two gold medals in just two days during the recent Tokyo Olympics, the response the 20-year-old received at home was a mixed. Some men were angered and said her medals should be taken away. Why? Because her short hair was a sign that she was a ‘man-hating’ feminist.
Screens, devices, and smartphones replaced the human touch and day-to-day interactions as COVID-19 protocols forced millions of people into harsh lockdowns and prolonged isolation.
An article published in April 2020 by the World Economic Forum warning that Africa was facing a Covid-19 time bomb
was widely shared among the humanitarian sector, with increasing alarm.
He moves aside the curtain, thin as gauze, and then bends over. The darkness dazzles for a few seconds when one enters the house—actually, a den made of earth where air and light filter through the narrow entrance. Jean de Dieu Amani Paye holds her tiny baby, wrapped in an elegant fabric, in his arms. He was a teacher of French and Latin and had a small business. He also cultivated the land: cassava, corn, sorghum, and beans.
In Burkina Faso, Honorine Meda has been trained by the German Development Agency (GIZ) to raise awareness among teenage girls about pregnancy. While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says all children have a right to education, adolescent girls who fall pregnant in Sub Saharan Africa tend to drop out of school. Meda and a group of model parents, also trained by GIZ, play an essential role in preventing teenage pregnancies and supporting learners, who fall pregnant, to get back to school.
Honorine Meda is 23. Cycling through her hometown of Dissin, in Burkina Faso’s verdant southwest, she smiles, waves and stops to chat with one of the girls she counsels.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstall the House of Representatives and appoint-- after a prolonged and nasty legal battle-- a new Prime Minister, Sher Bahadur Deuba, there is high probability that a government of national unity will be put together in Nepal.
The UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF) came to a conclusion on July 15th. Another HLPF, another series of declaration, and commitments and concerns articulated by governments.
One year after Nepal’s Ministry of Health (MoH) appealed to international organisations in the country to urgently supply a drug used to stop excessive bleeding after childbirth, a UN agency has delivered $1 million worth of contraceptives to prevent another shortage.
Ongoing online sexual harassment of Muslim women through ‘Sulli Deals’, an auctioning app hosted by GitHub, has been reported to the authorities – but not before it called untold trauma to the targeted women.
August of this year will mark the one-year anniversary of the end of South Sudan’s civil war, yet recent surges of violence suggest that peace is far from being realized. These attacks by armed groups include instances of sexual violence against women and girls
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you read the words, women and power? The accepted wisdom is that women can be powerful, but not without the constant reference to their gender - which is often based on a set of unconscious biases towards them. Is she competent enough, effective, articulate without being too assertive or too aggressive. Is she a straightjacket, is she too emotional, will her family life impact her work or vice versa. Is she smart enough to camouflage her intelligence, is she ready for a key position, is it worth making her powerful?
Every two minutes
, a girl or woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications, including unsafe abortions. Every year, around 12 million
girls are married while in their childhoods. An additional 10 million
are now at risk of child marriage due to the Covid-19 pandemic.