Gender responsiveness key to inclusiveness in Covid-19 pandemic

by Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)

“The lack of a gender-responsive approach to COVID-19 pandemic responses will risk exacerbating pre-existing inequality and vulnerabilities among the most marginalised groups in Southeast Asia, experts said in a webinar organised by the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) today.

“For many women and girls, access to key sexual and reproductive health services and supplies such as contraception, safe abortion, maternal health and reproductive cancer screening have been postponed or made inaccessible due to travel restriction and the disruption of supply chains.”

The pandemic has seen a rapid surge in violence against women and girls across the globe, and Asia is not an exception. A recent research by the Jakarta Feminist Association indicates that the number of reported domestic violence cases against women has tripled in Indonesia since the start of the pandemic.

“Being a public health challenge, the pandemic also adversely impacts the social-economic and psychological aspects of day to day life for the most marginalised, including the LGBTIQ community.

Arrests and attacks against human rights defenders and the general public are also on the rise, as emergency decrees have been misused to target dissenting voices under the guise of a COVID-19 response. In the Philippines, militarist policies are undermining the fundamental freedom of its ordinary citizens, including women who speak up about the Government’s lack of response to the health crisis.

The regional inter-governmental body ACWC (ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children), are expected to convene a meeting at the end of April 2020. “The collection of data during the pandemic, particularly on womenin the labour force, is important. The data is crucial to inform policy making processes on financial support and training schemes for these marginalised and under-served groups…”

SOURCE:Prachatai, 21 April 2020 ; PHOTO, Homeless woman in midst of Bangkok protest



The Americas: State responses to Covid-19 should prioritize the protection of women and girls

Women’s Link Worldwide, Amnesty International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region published a statement saying: It is vital that the responses of governments in the Americas to the COVID-19 pandemic take into consideration the specific risks that women and girls in the region face in the current crisis and include differentiated measures to ensure that the pandemic does not increase existing inequality and vulnerability in the region.

FULL STATEMENT:15 April 2020English;Spanish