News from the Global South

COVID-19 Positive Woman Gives Birth to a Healthy Baby at AIIMS in Delhi

The Times of India, India, 4/4/2020

Reportedly, a woman who was tested positive for Coronavirus has given birth to a baby who is doing well now. As per the doctors, this has been the first case in Delhi so far where a woman tested positive for Coronavirus has given birth. While there has not been a proof if the virus can be transmitted through breastfeeding, but the baby will be monitored for some time. WHO has recommend that women with COVID-19 can choose to breastfeed if they want to but they should strictly follow hygiene including wearing masks, washing hands and routinely sanitizing the surfaces they come in contact with. The doctors have stated that although the mother had been tested positive but is asymptomatic at present.

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Closure of Schools Due to COVID-19 May Lead to Online Child Sexual Abuse, Warns IJM

The Hindu, India, 4/3/2020

Following the implications of COVID-19, the closure of school and start of online classes has raised the fear of rising vulnerability of children to online abuse. The International Justice Mission (IJM) stated “Parents are advised to be vigilant and track the Internet usage of children. While the government machinery is focused on thwarting the spread of the coronavirus, criminals and predators anywhere in the world can exploit the closure of schools and increased usage of the Internet by children.” The International Justice Mission (IJM) has further advised parental vigilance against sexual predators and cyber stalkers. It is believed that children are more susceptible to online harassment and abuse owing to isolation and decreased supervision.

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Ugandan Rights Groups Demand Release of LGBT+ People Jailed Over Coronavirus

Reuters - Kampala, Uganda, 4/2/2020

Human rights groups in Uganda on April 1, 2020, demanded the release of 20 jailed LGBTQIA+ people charged with risking the spread of coronavirus, saying that some were HIV-positive and needed their medication, while others might contract the virus in prison. The fourteen gay men, two bisexual men and four transgender women were arrested on March 29, 2020 after police raided a shelter on the outskirts of Kampala following a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people to control coronavirus or COVID-19. LGBTQIA+ campaigners said the detainees were deliberately targeted. Patricia Kimera, a lawyer with Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum said that at least four members of the group were HIV-positive, but Uganda’s lockdown made it impossible to deliver medications to them.

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Malaysia Apologises for Telling Women Not to Nag During Lockdown

Al Jazeera, Malaysia, 4/1/2020

The Malaysian women’s ministry apologised on March 31, 2020 after telling women to avoid ‘nagging’ their husbands during the coronavirus lockdown, after a public outcry. In a series of Facebook posts, beginning on March 18, 2020, the Malaysian women’s ministry offered tips for how women should behave at home during the lockdown, with a series of online posters with the hashtag translating to #WomenPreventCOVID19. Posters advised women to use an infantile voice and to wear makeup and dress neatly, rather than in casual clothes. The local media reported that there has been a surge in domestic violence in Malaysia since the start of the partial lockdown, with a government helpline that helps domestic abuse victims receiving more than double the usual number of calls.

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Domestic Abuse Cases Rise as COVID-19 Lockdown Turns into Captivity for Many Women

Deccan Herald - New Delhi, India, 3/31/2020

Domestic violence cases in India have increased since the March 24, 2020 lockdown, according to the National Commission for Women (NCW), which has received 58 complaints from March 23 to March 29, 2020, by email. NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma said that the real figure was likely to be greater since the bulk of complaints come by post, and the number of postal complaints has reduced because of the lockdown. State commissions have also reported an increase in the number of domestic abuse cases. All India Progressive Women’s Association secretary and rights activist Kavita Krishnan said that women who were vulnerable to domestic violence could have moved to safer places if the government had given some prior warning of the lockdown.

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