Social protection programmes are critical to reduce impacts of pandemic on women

It is over nine months since we are alerted to be vigilant and to take measures against the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the pandemic progressed, it became clearer that those with lower incomes faced a heightened risk.
Women and men are affected by COVID-19. Among the people suffering from this financial setback, women have been disproportionately affected in comparison to men.
The coronavirus crisis has put women at greater risk of job loss, poverty, food insecurity, loss of housing and domestic violence. Women carry a different kind of burden from COVID-19. Inequities disproportionately affect their wellbeing and economic resilience during Stay-at-Home period with strict rules.
The service sector they dominate has been hard hit by social distancing rules. The loss of jobs in sectors dominated by women will have a devastating impact on families, especially where women are the primary or co-breadwinner.
Households are under strain, but child care, elderly care, and housework typically fall on women. Concerns over increased domestic violence are growing. With health services overstretched and charities under-resourced, women’s sexual and reproductive health services, as well as prenatal and postnatal care, are disrupted.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Union Government is committed to its policy that “no one would be left behind.” This means that women, children and vulnerable communities would also receive assistance from the government’s COVID-19 Economic Relief Plan-CERP.
The Union Government also adopted a plan to prevent, contain and respond to the COVID-19 disease in IDP camps, and is implementing it by spending K2 billion in efforts to provide care to the people displaced by armed conflicts and terrorist attacks.
COVID-19 is not only a challenge for global health systems, the UN report said. It is “also a test of our human spirit. Recovery must lead to a more equal world.”
Recognizing that women are being disproportionately affected within the struggles of the current pandemic crisis, the Union Government is also implementing the social protection programmes under the CERP with care at its heart for equal development of men and women.
To help our communities and our economy recover from this crisis, the needs of both women currently in the working force and women about to enter the workforce must be prioritized.
The skills and abilities of women are crucial to help our economy and world recover from this unprecedented crisis.

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