The COVID-19 crisis has caused a massive impact on people worldwide. Not only has it posed a threat to public health and people’s lives, but it has also disrupted livelihoods, work, business, education, relationships, and even recreation.
For the most part, everyone focused on taking care of the elderly and those with underlying health conditions amid the crisis. Everyone also paid attention to children who can be psychologically vulnerable. However, no one should neglect women as well. Why? Several alarming issues have arisen affecting women during this pandemic.
Let’s look at the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women. Keep on reading to see how you can help address these crucial issues.
1. Impact on Health and Well-Being
- Domestic violence: The pandemic restrictions have forced women to stay indoors. Financial issues and future uncertainties can lead to arguments and conflicts at home. Mental health problems like psychological distress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse can lead to domestic violence.
- Sexual abuse: The lockdowns, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders have led some women and teens to stay with their sexual abusers. The lack of social interaction with other people can result in child molestation too.
- Pregnancy-related deaths: The pandemic restrictions have compromised women’s access to healthcare, such as prenatal care. As such, there have been some pregnancy-related deaths reported during the pandemic.
- Teen pregnancy cases: Teens who have been isolated and stayed with their partners might end up getting pregnant. A report shows the rise of pregnancies among teenage women during the pandemic. Because of these unplanned pregnancies, some women need to visit an abortion clinic to consider their options.
- Limited access to contraception and reproductive health: The pandemic restrictions have impacted the global chain supply. This supply includes access to various types of contraception amid the crisis. Even women cannot instantly get reproductive health services, as the focus is on fighting off the COVID-19 infection.
2. Economic and Financial Impact
- Job losses: There’s no denying how many employees have gotten laid off from work during the pandemic. On top of these are the women who have become victims of employment discrimination.
- Business closure: More than half of the businesses that went on a temporary hiatus had eventually closed for good. Women entrepreneurs were no exception. Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) had a permanent shutdown as well.
- Household burden: Women usually manage the whole household. But during this pandemic, they have increased household burdens. They juggle between taking care of the family and accomplishing tasks at home.
- Financial instability: It’s no secret how the pandemic has led to negative monetary repercussions. Many individuals and families have struggled to make both ends meet. As the head of the household, mothers have suffered the most.
3. Impact on Women Providing Healthcare
- Health risks faced by frontline workforce: Most frontline health professionals are women. They are doctors, nurses, and caregivers who have handled the COVID-19 crisis the hardest. Unfortunately, they have a higher risk of COVID-19 infection due to their constant exposure to infected patients.
- Reduced access to vital health services: Women health professionals struggle to get health services. They focus on treating patients and saving lives instead of taking care of their health and well-being.
How Women Can Rise above the Pandemic Impact
There’s no denying the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on every woman. So while the threat of the novel coronavirus is here to stay, everyone must continue to protect these women. Below are some recommendations for helping women cope with the pandemic:
At home (for families):
- Delegate cleaning tasks and get everyone involved in the household chores.
- Continue to implement health and safety protocols.
- Create a support system at home.
- Consider venturing into the e-commerce business.
- Take advantage of the work-from-home setup.
In the community (for local authorities):
- Ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of public places.
- Conduct community vaccination.
- Continue to reinforce health and safety measures in the community.
- Support local businesses and encourage women to venture into online business.
- Provide the community with COVID-19 updates via social media.
At work (for health professionals):
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) all the time.
- Optimize the health and safety protocols in the hospital or medical facility.
- Offer telemedicine and telehealth services.
- Boost your immune system to protect the body from the threat of the novel coronavirus.
- Always foster overall health and well-being through proper nutrition, hydration, regular exercise, ample sleep, and enough rest.
- Practice self-care.
At this point, this post has highlighted vital issues confronting women worldwide amid the COVID-19 crisis. Consider the pandemic impact on women, whether on their health and well-being or their financial and economic situations. But most importantly, follow the recommendations above for women’s protection in the new normal. Together, everyone can help women cope with the pandemic, and all of us can rise above it together!