Putting the Brakes on Gendered Mishaps during COVID-19 Pandemic: Safeguarding the Health and Rights of Women and Girls in Bangladesh

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue III, March 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Putting the Brakes on Gendered Mishaps during COVID-19 Pandemic: Safeguarding the Health and Rights of Women and Girls in Bangladesh

Zawad Ibn Farid*1, Isna Haque Sheoti2, Muhammad Awfa Islam3, Sawban Ibn Farid4
1,3 Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
2 Department of Population Science, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
4 Department of International Relations, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: The surge of Covid-19 pandemic had forced the governments all around the world to declare lockdown and other preventive measures to limit the spread of the virus. Although the outcome of such initiatives has positively contributed towards communities, it has also taken a disproportionate toll on women and girls in terms of their health and rights. The finding of this study is premised upon the interpretation of information from different relevant secondary sources. This review article explores the situation of women and girls during Covid-19 in a developing country like Bangladesh. The findings of the study suggest that, women and girls are the worst sufferer of COVID-19 pandemic. The societal constructed gender roles along with historical inequality and systematic disenfranchisement have added to their vulnerability substantially during this dire time. Women and girls have suffered both socially i.e., domestic violence; economically i.e., unemployment; and physically i.e., unaddressed sexual and reproductive health needs. However, the article also suggests plausible solutions to overcome the undesirable situation through undertaking a holistic approach towards safeguarding the health and rights of women in Bangladesh. Measures like economic empowerment through stimulus package, social protection through safety net programs along with need based innovative interventions from government, non-government and private agencies are expected to put a break on the ongoing gendered mishaps and augment the position of women and girls in the society.

Keywords: COVID-19, Domestic violence, Gender, Women, Girls, Health rights.

I. INTRODUCTION

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak was first identified in China in December 2019, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a globally concerned public health emergency on January 30, 2020 (WHO, 2020a) and recognized as a worldwide pandemic on 11 March, 2020. This virus causes infectious disease, which transmits from person to person through everyday social contact. As a response to this pandemic, governments of worldwide had adopted lockdown, quarantine, and other preventive measures to prevent the spread of diseases (Farid, 2020).