Recently, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, wrote a piece
sharing about her miscarriage. I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second
, she wrote. She is part of a growing list of celebrities who have publicly shared their experiences with miscarriages.
During the COVID 19 lockdown in Sri Lanka, seven women from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds came together to deliver Wisdom and their message that women must be empowered and their voices for national unity must be heard through this movement.
The COVID-19 pandemic is NOT the biggest pandemic the world confronts at the moment, despite over 69 million cases and 1.5 million deaths worldwide.1
If it’s not COVID, what is it then? It is violence against women!
“What does the Women, Peace and Security Agenda have to do with arms control and disarmament?”.
Under varying formulations, this question keeps coming up whenever someone refers to the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda as a basis for ensuring that women’s voices and their specific security needs were taken into account in multilateral arms control discussions.
Access to technology which is relatively inexpensive to deploy can have a life-changing impact for rural women, social scientist Valentina Rotondi told IPS.
The impacts of crises are never gender-neutral and COVID-19 is no exception. The pandemic has resulted in increased rates
of violence against women and has exacerbated challenges in accessing justice. Women are losing their livelihoods
faster than men.
Twenty-five years ago, the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing set a path-breaking agenda for women’s rights. As a result of the two-week gathering with more than 30,000 activists, representatives from 189 nations unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
According to a 2016 Guttmacher Institute study
, 60% of girls ages 15-19 in developing countries who want to avoid pregnancy do not have access to modern contraceptive methods. Women Deliver Young Leaders Kizanne James
and Khadija Sinanan
dive deeper into stigma around contraceptive use in their home country of Trinidad and Tobago as part of their projects as World Contraception Day Ambassadors
Sixteen-year-old Suhana Khan had just completed her grade 10 exams in March, when India imposed a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown. Since then, she has been spending her mornings and evenings doing household chores, from cooking and cleaning to fetching drinking water from the tube well.
While men are more likely to die from COVID-19, women are facing the full blow of the socio-economic fallout from the ongoing pandemic as well as seeing a reversal in equality gains made over the last two decades, says an all-women panel of international thought leaders, who met virtually during a discussion convened by IPS.
Pregnant with her second child, 30-year-old Ndiabou Niang was enduring pelvic pain, but couldn’t afford to access prenatal care in Diabe Salla, a village on the outskirts of the small town of Thilogne in north-east Senegal. Her husband was unemployed and her earnings of under CFAF 10,000 (17 USD) from selling seasonal fruits in the local market were insufficient to make ends meet.
Omnia Nabil*, a Sudanese doctor, who worked in one of the largest hospitals in Khartoum, the country’s capital, was devastated to witness the deaths of 50 young women who had unsafe abortions during a space of just three months.
The impact of COVID-19 lockdowns falls heavily on the shoulders of women even in the global north. Women take the brunt of housework and caretaking duties, homes schooling, working from home and perhaps looking after elderly parents, says Cherie Blair.
Even before Covid-19, the world was facing a care crisis. The plight of often neglected, under-appreciated, under-protected and poorly equipped ‘frontline’ health personnel working to contain the pandemic has drawn attention to the tip of the care crisis iceberg.
Health systems around the world are prioritising health care services and equipment to treat people diagnosed with Covid-19, which means that many procedures deemed to be elective and non-essential are being suspended or simply not provided. Abortion, for instance, has been categorised
as a non-essential health service by some States, while others have removed certain restrictions to accessing abortion.
It was only when 17-year-old Eva Muigai was in her final trimester that her family discovered she was pregnant. Muigai, a form three student who lives with her family in Gachie, Central Kenya, had spent her pregnancy wearing tight bodysuits and loose-fitting clothes that hid her growing baby bump.
As the COVID-19 mayhem carries on in most countries, the role of mothers, daughters, and female caregivers have been affected the most. Besides looking after the household and home schooling children, they are also working on the front lines, actively or passively caring for their respective communities.
Sexual and reproductive health and pandemics might seem to be unrelated topics, but large and dense populations are drivers of the high velocity transmission of COVID-19, and there are lessons to be learned for the future.