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Women and COVID-19

11 February 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 3

COVID-19 has infected hundreds of thousands of people globally, bringing a range of primary and secondary effects on several individuals and communities. Domestic violence organisations report there has been an increase in household tension and domestic violence as a result of forced coexistence and economic stress along with fears about the virus (Roesch et al, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has also restricted access to support services for survivors, particularly in the health, police and justice sectors.

It is women who are affected more than men by the social and economic effects of infectious-disease outbreaks, bearing the brunt of care responsibilities as schools close and family members fall ill. Although more men than women worldwide may have contracted COVID-19, women struggle from a number of perspectives: physically (domestic violence), financially (their livelihoods) and emotionally (including their sexual and reproductive health) (Wenham et al, 2020). Every government has a responsibility to keep all of its citizens safe, supporting all of those at the margins—this is just as true during a pandemic.

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