CHR Upholds Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
Manila Bulletin - Philippines, 4/30/2020
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Philippines has expressed alarm over news reports that women are dying due to childbirth complications after being turned down successively by different hospitals. CHR Commissioner Karen S. Gomez-Dumpit, Focal Commissioner on Gender Equality and Women’s Rights, said that pregnant mothers and newborn babies are among those who are highly susceptible to the coronavirus disease. While it is understandable that the majority of health resources are now focused on treating COVID-19 patients, care and treatment for mothers and their infants should not be disregarded, Gomez-Dumpit added. She cited the fears of pregnant women from going to health care facilities for checkups and even deliveries.
Coronavirus Lockdowns Could Lead to 7 Million Unintended Pregnancies, UN Agency Says
South China Morning Post - Geneva, Switzerland, 4/29/2020
According to data released by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on April 28, 2020, lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic could result in 7 million unintended pregnancies. Supply chain disruptions could leave 47 million women in low- and middle-income countries without modern contraceptives, the UNFPA said. The analysis also projects that six months of lockdowns could result in an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence as women are confined at home for prolonged periods. In addition, according to the UNFPA, delays in programs to end female-genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage due to the pandemic are estimated to result in 2 million more cases of FGM and 13 million more child marriages over the next decade that could have been prevented.
Murders of Women in Mexico Rise Amid Fears of Lockdown Violence
Reuters - Mexico City, Mexico, 4/28/2020
According to recent government data, the rate of women who were murdered in Mexico in the first three months of 2020 is 8 percent higher than in the same period in 2019. Mexican advocates attribute this increase in violence to the coronavirus lockdown measures. In addition, calls and messages sent to the National Network of Shelters rose more than 80 percent between mid-March and mid-April when compared to the previous month. Advocates worry that such alarming rates of violence may get worse with the extension of coronavirus lockdown measures. Patricia Olamendi, a lawyer who represents women affected by violence said that many more women could die because of violence than Covid-19 in this period.
Declare Sanitary Pads an Essential Pads an Essential Commodity, Says ‘Padman' Arunachalam Muruganantham
The Hindu - Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 4/27/2020
Arunachalam Muruganantham, also known as ‘padman’, has said that sanitary pads should be declared an essential commodity during the Covid-19 lockdown period. The celebrated social entrepreneur, whose low-cost sanitary pad-making machine brought about a revolution in rural India encouraging women to practice menstrual hygiene, urged authorities to permit all pad manufacturers as well as women self-help groups to start operation while following physical distancing norms. Muruganantham also urged ensuring the availability of raw material for the manufacture of sanitary pads. He noted that if women do not get sanitary pads for two cycles, they would go back to unhygienic practices which in turn would affect their health. This would be counterproductive to the lockdown’s goal of keeping everyone healthy.
Domestic Violence on Rise Amid Covid-19 Lockdown: Helplines, Shelter Homes Running, Delhi, Centre, DSLSA Tell HC
The Indian Express - New Delhi, India, 4/26/2020
The Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) has informed the Delhi HC of the steps that have been taken to deal with the alarming increase in domestic violence since the imposition of the lockdown in response to a petition by an NGO that had sought an intervention by the High Court for effective measures to help women affected by domestic violence while being confined at home during the lockdown. The DSLSA told the High Court that they were raising awareness by distributing pamphlets with the help of chemist shops, mother dairy booths and Anganwadi workers. In response to the DSLSA, the High Court highlighted the importance of the effective implementation of the provisions in the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.